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NCAA Men's College Basketball Bets: Baylor-Texas, UCLA-Washington

Analysis and bets for Monday's matchups featuring No. 3 Baylor facing No. 21 Texas and No. 17 UCLA battling Washington.

The final Monday of the college basketball regular season has arrived. It comes after a wild weekend that saw a dramatic shakeup in the AP Poll.

Baylor, fresh off a win over Kansas, is up to No. 3 and faces No. 21 Texas on the road. Out West, later in the night, No. 13 UCLA goes for the season sweep of Washington.

Season record: 31-35-2

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Baylor guard Kendall Brown, center, drives past Kansas guard Dajuan Harris Jr., left, and guard Ochai Agbaji on his way to the basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Waco, Texas.

No. 3 Baylor (24-5, 12-4 Big 12) vs. No. 21 Texas (21-8, 10-6)

Time: 9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Spread: Baylor -1.5 (-118) | Texas +1.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Baylor (-125) | Texas (+100)
Over/Under: Under 135 (-118) | Over 135 (-110)

The Bears are winners of three in a row and are energized off a win over the weekend against then-No. 5 Kansas. That 80-70 victory closed the gap for first place in the Big 12 between Baylor and KU, which now leads by a half-game. In Longhorn country, Texas won its last two games, narrowly escaping West Virginia on Saturday.

These teams met in mid-February in Waco, Texas, and Baylor won, 80-63. UT’s signature defense has allowed some uncharacteristically high-scoring outputs lately. The Longhorns allow just 58.8 PPG for the season, the fifth-best mark in the nation, but they’re yielding 73.2 PPG over their last five games. They’re 3-2 during that stretch.

The Bears are working on their title defense and appear to be clicking heading into March. A win over Texas would go a long way for Baylor’s tournament seeding and chances of winning its second consecutive Big 12 regular season championship. But Texas has lost just two games at home all year and Baylor dropped its last two away games versus ranked foes.

Moneyline or Spread Pick: Baylor -1

The Bears have won their last five against Texas overall and the past two on the road and I like them to cover in Austin, Texas, on Monday night. Baylor is 5-3-1 Against the Spread (ATS) as a road favorite this season. The drubbing the Longhorns took last time they played Baylor is enough cause for concern, as is them narrowly beating Oklahoma and West Virginia since, two teams bringing up the rear in the Big 12. Scott Drew’s club keeps on climbing after jumping seven spots in the latest AP Poll.

Over/Under Pick: Over 135

The first total in this matchup was 131 and that was cleared easily. Baylor games go over 53% of the time, while 48% of Texas games do so. Both offenses have picked up lately as well. The Bears reached 80 points in two of their last five games, both against ranked teams—Texas being one of them. The Longhorns similarly hit the 80-point mark twice in that same span, while their defense has allowed more points than usual.

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Oregon State guard Dashawn Davis (13) guards against UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (10) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Corvallis, Ore. UCLA won 94-55.

No. 17 UCLA (21-6, 13-5 Pac-12) vs. Washington (14-13, 9-8)

Time: 11 p.m. ET | ESPN2
Spread: UCLA -8 (-118) | Washington +8 (-110)
Moneyline: UCLA (-400) | Washington (+275)
Over/Under: Under 139.5 (-118) | Over 139.5 (-110)

The Bruins bounced back from their loss to Oregon on Thursday with a drubbing of Oregon State this past weekend. UCLA poured in 94 points, its most since Jan. 6 in a 39-point win against the Beavers. The Huskies, meanwhile, put an end to their four-game losing streak with a 78-70 win against Washington State.

UCLA was a surprise 11 seed that went from a play-in game to the Final Four a season ago. The Bruins aren’t sneaking up on anyone this season, though, with a top-25 ranking and even more favorable position on KenPom (No. 10).

Washington has a negative point differential for the season but has managed to keep its head above water in the Pac-12 up to this point. The Huskies are 0-4 against top-25 teams. Their average margin of defeat in those games is 19, which includes when these programs met Feb. 19 and then-No. 13 UCLA came out on top, 76-50.

Four players average 12 or more points for the Bruins, led by Johnny Juzang’s 17 PPG. Washington’s Terrell Brown Jr., meanwhile, leads the conference in scoring at 21.4 PPG—only one other Huskies player scores in double-digits.

Moneyline or Spread Pick: UCLA -8

The Bruins are 14-12-1 ATS and have covered four of their last five games, including a 15-point spread in their last game against Washington. The Huskies are 15-12 ATS and 3-2 over their last five, having been a double-digit underdog in four of those games. UW’s recent play against top-end teams isn’t inspiring, though the Huskies have only dropped one home conference game. UCLA should overcome its recent road struggles (2-4 over its last six) and keep the Huskies from hanging around.

Over/Under Pick: Under 139.5

These teams combined for just 126 points in their first meeting. Washington should fare better offensively this time around, especially at home. The Bruins have held their last six opponents under 70 (and four under 60). Huskies games go over at a somewhat high rate, given their defense, but they should keep UCLA in check.

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