Thursday’s Big 12 Tournament Iowa State vs Baylor betting matchup has the potential to be a good one – as does any game in the best conference in the country this weekend in Kansas City. The Cyclones (18-12) got as high as #12 in the Top 25 this season while BU (22-9) was a top 10 team most of the season.
Iowa State swept the series this year including a 73-58 win in Waco in the regular season finale. That being said, Baylor is a -4.5 favorite in the Big 12 tournament opener for both teams with ISU being the #5 seed and the Bears #4. Over 75% of early public betting is on the Bears which is interesting.
Why Iowa State Can Cover +4.5
Baylor didn’t have a ton to play for last Saturday, but Iowa State going to Waco and getting a 73-58 win as +7 point underdogs was still surprising. That win had to be huge for the Cyclones considering the Bears were #7 in the country at the time and it was their first victory at the Ferrell Center in 10 years.
They always say it’s hard to beat a team three times in a year, which is what ISU will try to do in the Big 12 Tournament Iowa State at Baylor betting matchup. The Cyclones also picked up a 77-62 win over BU in Ames on December 31st as +1.5 home underdogs, making their average margin of victory over Baylor this season 15.5 points.
Iowa State had the best scoring defense in the Big 12 this season (62.2) but Baylor being the second worst in the conference (70.0) may be the bigger story here. Despite losing 9.5 ppg after Senior Caleb Grill was kicked off the team last week, ISU still has some scoring potential led by Jaren Holmes and Gabe Kalscheur who combined for 28 points in Saturday’s win over the Bears.
Why Baylor Can Cover -4.5
The Bears lost three of five down the stretch, but you have to wonder if this team kind of got complacent once it looked like Kansas was going to clinch the Big 12 regular season title.
This seems like a Baylor team just ready to get to the postseason, as they won the 2021 National Championship but want a nice rebound after bowing out in the 2nd round to North Carolina last year as a #1 seed.
The Bears are up against a good defense on Thursday afternoon (12:30 PM ET, ESPN2) but have a veteran laden offense that has the potential to get to this Cyclones team – especially in their third meeting of the season. Keyonte George, Adam Flagler, and LJ Cryer all average over 14 ppg for the #2 scoring squad in the Big 12.
Free Big 12 Tournament Iowa State vs Baylor Betting Pick
This might end up just being a bad matchup for Baylor, as they only averaged 60 points in two games vs. Iowa State in the regular season, 17 points below their season average. Both teams limped into the postseason, which makes this game possible to go either way. In that situation you take the points.
Free Pick: Iowa State +4.5