No. 3 Baylor at No. 6 West Virginia
Following their first loss this season, Baylor looks to rebound when they visit West Virginia for a Big 12 Conference showdown tonight. The Bears vs. Mountaineers contest is slated for 5:00 p.m. ET at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va. After three previously scheduled contests were canceled due to weather and COVID-19 issues, this is the lone regular season meeting this year. These teams split the season series last year. Baylor posted a 70–59 victory at home before West Virginia winning 76–64 in Morgantown.
Baylor (18–1, 10–1 Big 12) is playing a second straight road game following a 71–58 loss to Kansas as 4.5-point favorites on Saturday. Playing their second game since Feb. 2, due to six contests being canceled, the Bears shot 34.8% from the field (23 of 66) and made just 6 of 26 shots from three-point range. Prior to that, Baylor failed to cover as 24-point chalk during a 77–72 win at home against Iowa State on Feb. 23. During their 18–0 run, Baylor won by an average of 23.1 points and was 13–5 against the spread.
West Virginia (17–6, 10–4 Big 12) is playing a second straight home game, and they are on a three-game winning streak. The Mountaineers defeated Kansas State 65–43 and covered as 15.5-point favorites on Saturday. Prior to that, West Virginia posted a 74–66 win against TCU and defeated Texas 84–82 during two road games. The Mountaineers have rewarded bettors recently as they are 8–2 straight up and 7–3 ATS during their last 10 games. That includes a 4–1 ATS record versus AP Top 25 ranked teams.
Baylor enters this contest with better numbers at both ends of the court. The Bears are averaging 84.9 ppg on offense, fourth-best in the nation, while the Mountaineers score 77.1 ppg. The edge is similar on defense as Baylor allows 63.7 ppg while West Virginia is giving up 70.8 ppg. Baylor will claim their first Big 12 Conference regular season title with a win. After showing some rust, during their last two games, expect a better effort from Baylor in this contest. Lay the line and back the Bears.
Pick: Baylor Bears -4.5 (-113) at DraftKings
No. 4 Illinois at No. 2 Michigan
March Madness contenders clash when Illinois visits Michigan for a Big Ten Conference showdown tonight. Tipoff for the Fighting Illini vs. Wolverines contest is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan has a one-game lead on Illinois in the Big Ten standings. This is the lone regular season meeting this year. Following a four-game winning streak by Michigan, these teams met twice last season. The Fighting Illini posted a 71–62 win at home and a 64–62 victory on the road.
Illinois (18–6, 14–4 Big Ten) is playing a second straight road game, and they are on a two-game winning streak. The Fighting Illini defeated Nebraska 86–70 as 14-point favorites at home on Feb. 25. That was followed by a 74–69 win over Wisconsin, as 5-point underdogs on the road, during their last game on Saturday. Both wins were impressive as Illinois was without top scorer Ayo Dosunmu who is averaging 21.0 ppg. Dosunmu suffered a broken nose during an 81–72 loss to Michigan State on Feb. 23.
Michigan (18–1, 13–1 Big Ten) enters this contest on a seven-game winning streak. The Wolverines return home following a 73–57 win on the road against Indiana. Michigan led 42–33 at halftime and easily covered as 7.5-point favorites. The Wolverines are 6–1 against the spread over their last seven games. The lone non-cover was a 71–64 win against Rutgers as 9.5-point chalk on Feb. 18. Michigan has been red-hot at home as they are 12–0 straight up, plus 9-3 against the spread, at the Crisler Center this season.
This is a matchup of two high-scoring teams as Illinois is averaging 81.2 ppg on offense while Michigan is scoring 78.8 ppg. The Wolverines have an edge on defense as they allow 65.2 ppg while the Fighting Illini are giving up 69.2 ppg. Despite the absence of Dosunmu, Illinois has scored 86 and 74 points during their last two games. However, they will be hard-pressed to match those numbers against the stout Michigan defense. While I like the Wolverines to cover the point spread, bet UNDER on the game total.
Pick: Illinois at Michigan UNDER 147 points at DraftKings
2020–21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 27-23 ATS
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