Last Updated Feb 21, 2023, 8:00 PM
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats Picks, Predictions, Odds
Sports Betting Expert
The first meeting between the Baylor Bears and Kansas State Wildcats was one of the most thrilling games of the regular season. It was a high-scoring, but close, game throughout as the teams were tied at 47 at halftime, and the largest lead was just eight points.
Baylor's Jalen Bridges made a deep three with 22 seconds left to force overtime, and it looked like the Bears would escape with a win after holding the Wildcats without a point for the first 150 seconds of overtime. However, Markquis Nowell and Ismael Massoud combined to score 11 points in the last two-and-a-half minutes to give Kansas State a 97-95 win. It's one of the two big road wins the Wildcats have this season, but they haven't won away from the Little Apple since that victory.
On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, the Kansas State Wildcats will welcome the Baylor Bears to Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. The Wildcats are 6-1 at home against Big 12 opponents this year, and their lone home loss was against Texas by just three points. This game will tip off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Prediction
The Baylor Bears have the second-best offense in the country according to Ken Pomeroy. However, they have repeatedly struggled with Top 25 teams away from home this season. Baylor's best road win came against TCU 10 days ago, but the Horned Frogs were up by 10 points with just over nine minutes left to play in the game. TCU was outscored 26-12 the rest of the way, throwing away a winnable game. With that in mind, it's hard to go against the Kansas State Wildcats as they have been superb in non-road games this season with a 17-1 record at home or a neutral site.
Score Prediction: Kansas State 77, Baylor 72
Best Bet: Kansas State +2 (-110)
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Odds
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Resources
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023
TV-Time: ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Bramlage Coliseum
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Stats
Kansas State Wildcats
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)
Baylor Bears Betting Analysis
It looked like Baylor would knock off Kansas in Lawrence this past Saturday, but the Jayhawks had other ideas. They roared back from a 13-point halftime deficit to outscore the Bears by a whopping 29 points in the final 20 minutes of action. That highlighted Baylor's issues on defense this season, as the Bears rank dead last in the Big 12 in defensive efficiency. Their two-point defense is woeful with opponents making 52.7% of their twos against Baylor this year, and that's the biggest hurdle the Bears will have to overcome if they want to win their second national championship in three seasons.
This offense is good enough for Baylor to beat any team though. The Bears have a freshman phenom that can create opportunities out of nothing in Keyonte George, and he leads the team with 16.6 PPG. Adam Flagler and L.J. Cryer are both excellent three-point shooters that are making more than 40% of their treys, and Flagler is a superb creator with 5.0 APG. All three players are making over 80% of their free throws too.
Jalen Bridges and Flo Thamba are solid frontcourt players, but they sometimes are asked to do too much as Scott Drew relies heavily on guards in his offense. Freshman Josh Ojianwuna was expected to play more of a role as the season progressed, but it's clear that Drew doesn't trust him in big games. That means that neither Bridges nor Thamba can afford to get into foul trouble.
Kansas State Wildcats Betting Analysis
The Wildcats have one of the best defenses in the Big 12. Kansas State ranks 18th nationally in defensive efficiency according to Pomeroy, and these guards are excellent when it comes to shutting down perimeter shooters. Teams are making just 28.9% of their threes against the Wildcats, and Kansas State does a good job of forcing turnovers as well.
There are two main playmakers for Kansas State on offense. Keyontae Johnson is averaging 17.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG, and he is making 51.2% of his field goals and 40.3% of his threes. Johnson hasn't been at his best lately though with no more than 16 points for each of the last five games, and he hasn't recorded more than eight rebounds in any of those tilts either.
Undersized guard Markquis Nowell is one of the best players in the Big 12 although he is just 5'8. Nowell is averaging 16.9 PPG and leads the conference with 7.5 APG. He is one of just three players with an assist rate higher than 40% nationally, and that has helped Kansas State turn a corner in its first season under new head coach Jerome Tang.