Kansas at Baylor Betting Preview, Selection, Odds

Game: Kansas at Baylor (-1.5)

Sharp: Dave Miller

Selection: Kansas (+1.5)

Arguably the two best teams in the country will meet on Saturday as No. 1 Baylor (24-1, 13-0 Big 12) hosts No. 3 Kansas (23-3, 12-1) in a Big 12 showdown that has all the makings of a potential Final Four preview.

Back on January 11, the Bears went into Lawrence and handed the Jayhawks a loss behind a combined 51 points from Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Freddie Gillespie for the Bears' first-ever win at Allen Fieldhouse. Isaiah Moss scored 15 points for the Jayhawks and Marcus Garrett added 11, but leading scorer Devon Dotson was lost to an injury for a long stretch midway through that game. However, the Jayhawks were simply overwhelmed by the Bears' stifling defense.

Top-ranked Baylor is coming off of a 65-54 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night in Norman, its Big 12-record 23rd consecutive win to break a tie with Kansas, which won 22 straight during the 1996-97 season. Scott Drew's team also became the third team to start 13-0 in Big 12 play, joining the 2009-10 and 2001-02 KU squads.

Will Teague be ready for Saturday's game? He sat out for a second straight game with a wrist injury, and his availability remains uncertain. According to Drew, though, he's “getting close.”

Because of its elite defense, Baylor can play with any foe in the country. But the Bears have question marks surrounding their offense. They have proven that they are not immune to offensive lulls and inconsistency. Meanwhile, the KU defense is exceptional as well, and it has had a more productive offense than Baylor has displayed in league play.

No matter what happens in this one, it's tough to argue against these teams being the two best in the country headlined by very good inside-outside duos (Baylor's Butler-Gillespie and Dotson-Udoka Azubuike of Kansas). And, defensively, you're just not going to find a better clinic than the one these teams should put on.

Baylor had the upper-hand in the first battle, holding Kansas to just 4-of-15 from beyond the arc and forcing 14 turnovers. But KU was also able to hold the Bears to a pair of field goals across the first 10 minutes of the second half to cut the deficit in that first meeting.

The Bears haven't trailed in the second half in nine straight games, and their one loss on the year came against Washington before Thanksgiving in Anchorage, Alaska. That's wild. Expect Bill Self to make it a priority to get Azubuike and David McCormack involved in the game more down low than in the previous meeting, and expect one of the more entertaining games of the 2019-20 college hoops season.

A healthy Dotson for a full game and a slightly better inside presence gives the Jayhawks the edge even on the road.


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