Expect a defensive struggle when the Kansas State Wildcats (14-5, 4-3 Big 12) and Baylor Bears (12-7, 2-5 Big 12) face off at Ferrell Center. Baylor is a 4.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 134 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Monday, January 22, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPNU.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears Free Preview
The Wildcats defeated the No. 24 TCU Horned Frogs in their last outing, 73-68. Dean Wade was the top scorer from either team with 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting. The Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to an effective field goal percentage of 0.500 (below their season average of 0.581). The Horned Frogs had a free throw rate of 0.214 (below their season average of 0.245).
The last time the Bears played, they were topped by the No. 10 Kansas Jayhawks, 70-67. With 14 points and 12 rebounds, Baylor’s Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. put together a solid outing. Kansas had a free throw rate of 0.404 (above their season average of 0.165). Baylor, meanwhile, had a better offensive rebounding percentage (30.8 vs. 27.0).
The offensive glass should be a huge advantage for Baylor in this showdown. The Bears are among the nations elite on the offensive glass, ranking 26th in offensive rebounding percentage at 35.2 percent. Meanwhile, Kansas State ranks 312th in the NCAA at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 67.3 percent. Also, the elite offense of the Wildcats ranks 29th in effective field goal percentage (0.561), while the Bears are 34th-best in the nation at effective field goal percentage allowed (0.465).
Games featuring these teams have a tendency to finish under the projected point total. Kansas State games have finished under 62.5 percent of the time, while Baylor games have gone under 75.0 percent of the time. The Wildcats have the superior straight up (SU) record (14-5 vs. 12-7), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. Kansas State is 7-9 ATS, while Baylor is 7-5 ATS.
Barry Brown has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Kansas State, averaging 22.4 points, 3.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year. The Wildcats won two out of three contests played against each other last season. In the last matchup, Kansas State won 70-64. The Wildcats played a nearly flawless game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.409 and a turnover percentage of 15.2. For those same stats, the Bears were 0.127 and 17.6, respectively.
Kansas State Wildcats at Baylor Bears Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kansas State, ATS Winner – Kansas State, O/U – Under
- The Wildcats rank 66th in assists per game (15.5) while the Bears rank 192nd in assists allowed per game (14.9).
- Kansas State ranks 149th in three pointers attempted per game (21.8) while Baylor ranks 195th in three pointers allowed per game (23.5).
- Kansas State is 3-5 ATS on the road with 5 unders and 3 overs.
- Baylor is 3-2 ATS at home with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- Baylor ranks 31st in rebounds per game (39.6) while Kansas State ranks 282nd (31.2).
- The Wildcats rank 20th in steals per game (8.2) while the Bears rank 188th (5.1).
- Baylor ranks 25th in blocks per game (5.1) while Kansas State ranks 154th (2.7).
- Baylor is 4-1 ATS with 5 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Kansas State is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Bears average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.8, down from 9.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 75.2 points per game (1.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 73.2 points per game (6.6 above their season average).