Baylor is probably not going anywhere as one of the top programs in college basketball, as long as Scott Drew is the coach.
Two seasons ago, Baylor won a national championship. Last season the Bears were a No. 1 seed, though they were upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament. This season the Bears didn’t look that great at 10-5, but it has turned around.
The Bears have won six in a row in the tough Big 12, are up to a No. 3 seed in most mock brackets and are on a 4-1-1 stretch against the spread as well. The hot streak faces a tough test Monday night as the Bears play at Texas. The Longhorns are 3.5-point favorites at BetMGM.
Baylor’s surge is mostly due to a fantastic backcourt, which should put them on everyone’s radar for a deep March Madness run. Freshman Keyonte George, a McDonald’s All-American last season, has made an instant impact. He is averaging 17.2 points per game. He could be a lottery pick in the NBA draft this summer. He’s the kind of player who can lead a team through a tournament.
The Bears are an excellent offensive team that has five losses, but all of them came against teams in the top 25 of the KenPom rankings.
Texas had a rough 82-71 loss to Tennessee over the weekend, but it’s still a quality Longhorns team as well. Coach Chris Beard was fired after a domestic violence charge, but Texas has continued to play well. The Longhorns have a lot of experience and toughness, and they’ll also be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.
It’s hard to pass on Baylor getting points, given how well they’re playing. If they can beat Texas on Monday night, their hot streak will start to get more attention.
Here’s a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
More ‘Big Monday’ action
There aren’t many college basketball games on a light Monday, but the first game of the ESPN “Big Monday” doubleheader is interesting. Virginia plays at Syracuse and the Cavaliers are a 5.5-point favorite. Syracuse is 13-9 but has had a few brief flashes of improvement lately. The Orange has covered in five of its last seven games. Virginia has won six in a row.
There’s another Big 12 game late as a good Iowa State team faces Texas Tech. Iowa State is just a 1.5-point favorite at Texas Tech, which had lost eight in a row before beating a terrible LSU team. It’s hard to take road favorites in college basketball but Iowa State is worth a look.
NBA highlighted by Warriors-Thunder
The best game of the eight in the NBA on Monday night is the Golden State Warriors at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder was supposed to be one of the teams in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, but they have been a capable 24-25 and have an NBA-best 31-17-1 record against the spread. It’s never fun to go against Golden State, but OKC could be worth a shot as a 5.5-point home underdog. The Sacramento Kings (-1.5) at the Minnesota Timberwolves is also a sneaky good game between two hot teams.
One game in the NHL
It’s a surprisingly quiet night in the NHL. The only game on the ice is the St. Louis Blues at the Winnipeg Jets, with the Jets as a heavy -225 favorite.
What’s the best bet?
I’ll go with the Thunder, who have been fantastic to bettors this season. They’ll compete at home against a marquee opponent in the Warriors.