clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How and what to watch for No. 6 Kansas vs. No. 2 Baylor

One of the biggest matchups of 2021 takes to the floor in Waco with a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament potentially hanging in the balance.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Kansas Jayhawks guard Christian Braun dribbles against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first half at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest games in the Big 12 this year is Monday night, as the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks head to Waco to take on the undefeated No. 2 Baylor Bears in prime time showdown of two teams hoping for nothing less than a Final Four in 2021.

The 10-3 Jayhawks are no doubt one of the best teams in the nation. Two of their three losses came to top-10 teams in No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 Texas, and their loss to lowly Oklahoma State last Tuesday was highly unexpected. KU is averaging nearly 15 more points per game than they’re giving up to opponents and have plenty of balance with four players averaging double figures on a nightly basis. Forward Jalen Wilson and guard Ochai Agbajiare the clear driving forces, combining for 28 points and 12 rebounds an outing.

Baylor has yet to drop a game this season at 12-0, but due to COVID-19 they’ve had some games canceled against the elite of college basketball including Gonzaga. Their first win by less than double digits came in their last outing against No. 15 Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday, a 68-60 victory led by 19 points and five rebounds from junior guard Davion Mitchell.

The Baylor backcourt combo of Mitchell, MaCio Teague, and Jared Butler is the most potent in the country, with the Bears shooting .423 from three-point range as a team while holding opponents to just .300 from long-range.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Kansas vs. Baylor on Monday, January 18th at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Baylor -9
Point Total: 140.5
Money line: Kansas (+350), Baylor (-480)

The Best Bet

These teams can really both play at a high level, but Kansas has seen other Top 5 teams and Baylor hasn’t yet this season. That doesn’t mean a tremendous backcourt like the Bears have can’t win big, but it might make it harder for them to run away and hide as that kind of talent can’t be simulated. We’ll take Rock Chalk to cover just because they’ve been more tested so far.

Pick: Kansas +9

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/MI/PA/WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA) or Call or Text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IA/IN/CO/IL/TN/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.