Five of the top-25 ranked teams are in the Big 12, including No. 1 Baylor. All five are in action tonight, including four who are facing each other–the top-ranked Bears are hosting No. 19 Texas Tech while No. 15 Iowa State, having lost two of three after a 12-0 start, visit ninth-ranked Kansas. Oklahoma, unranked but 12-3 and owning a win over the Cyclones, visit rival Texas, who is ranked 21st.
These Big 12 matchups highlight our look at the best NCAAB odds for this Tuesday night.
(19) Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. (1) Baylor Bears
The Bet: Baylor -12
Texas Tech has been one of the surprises of the college basketball season, sitting at 11-3 (1-1 Big 12) and coming off a home win over top-10 Kansas over the weekend. But they will face their biggest challenge tonight, in the form of a date at top-ranked, undefeated, and defending national champion Baylor.
The Red Raiders used their strong defense to hold the Jayhawks to just 67 points in a 75-67 win. Bryson Williams, Tech’s leading scorer with 12 points per game, scored 22 to lead the way over Kansas. It was Texas Tech’s second win over a top-25 team this year, as they beat Tennessee on a neutral court in December.
The Bears (15-0, 3-0 Big 12) have handled all challengers so far this season, including a win at then-undefeated Iowa State on New Year’s Day. Baylor has also won five-straight over Texas Tech, dating back to 2016. One of the keys to Baylor’s success is their defense. In addition to giving up just 59 points per game, their turnover rate is 26.4%, which is ninth in the nation. The Red Raiders are also susceptible to the turnover, coughing up the ball 20% of the time, which ranks only 279th in the country. That could be the difference in this matchup.
Baylor, who is 9-6 against the spread on the season and 6-3 ATS at home, has won their home games by an average margin of 32 points. Texas Tech is having a great season, but after a big win at home, a letdown on the road against the best team in the country is nothing to be ashamed of.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. (21) Texas Longhorns
The Bet: Oklahoma +6.5
The basketball edition of the Red River Rivalry takes place in Austin tonight, as the Sooners visit the 21st-ranked Longhorns with identical 12-3 records and 2-1 in the Big 12.
Oklahoma will have to contend with the Longhorns’ defense, which is giving up 53 points per game and is ranked No. 1 in the country. But the Sooners have been tested over the past week, losing by 10 at Baylor (admirable) and upsetting Iowa State over the weekend, 79-66. OU puts a 3-1 record against ranked teams on the line tonight in this challenge. Tanner Groves leads the Sooners with 13.3 points per game with Umoja Gibson not far behind with 13.1 PPG. Gibson has hit 16 of his last 38 3-point attempts and is shooting 38% on the season from long distance.
The Longhorns are scoring four fewer points per game than OU but has a 10-point edge on defense. Timmy Allen leads Texas with 11.9 PPG and nearly seven rebounds per contest. Texas is coming off a two-game road trip against unranked opponents, going 1-1 with a win at Kansas State and a loss at Oklahoma State.
The teams have played fairly even against each other, going 5-5 against the spread in their last 10 meetings and Texas owning the straight-up edge at 6-4. OU has had the better run against the spread as of late, going 6-3 ATS in their last nine and also 6-3 ATS in their last nine road games. Texas, meanwhile, is just 3-5 ATS in their last eight games. Texas may pull out the win here, but we expect a close game in the evenly matched contest between bitter rivals.
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Syracuse Orange
The Bet: Pittsburgh +10.5
Two former Big East and current ACC rivals who are used to more success than they’re having this season meet in chilly Syracuse tonight, as the Pitt Panthers take on the Orange in the Carrier Dome.
The Orange (7-8, 1-3 ACC) is on a three-game losing streak in the conference, where they held halftime leads against Virginia, Miami, and Wake Forest before losing each game by five or fewer points. Their defense has still not hit their stride, as they are allowing an average of 76.5 points per game and have given up more than that in their last three games. They do hold a 16-point edge in offense against the Panthers, but Pitt has scored above its 62 PPG average in each of its last four games.
The Panthers are the better team defensively, averaging 65 points allowed per game, which is 11 points better than the Cuse. They are 4-3 after a four-game losing streak in late November and early December, but they have not lost a game by more than 10 points since a 68-52 loss to Vanderbilt on Nov. 24.
Both teams are desperate for a win, and with Syracuse playing at home, they should have an advantage, but with Syracuse being unable to put teams away in the second half this year, we would be surprised if they were able to win this game by double digits.