The number one team in the nation takes the floor in college basketball on Saturday night, when the Baylor Bears take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Oregon. The top-ranked Bears are a perfect 9-0 on the season coming into this Baylor Bears vs. Oregon Ducks matchup. And while the Ducks have been less than stellar for much of the season so far, they cannot be ruled out at home in this game where their opponent has a target on their back.
Before the tip off of this contest, the defending national champions are convincing favorites, as they look to move to 10-0 on the year. And while the Ducks have failed just about every test that they have faced so far this season, they are always capable of pulling something special out of their hats at home. It will be up to Baylor to bring the focus and intensity necessary to avoid being upset by the unranked Oregon Ducks here.
Baylor Bears – A Defensive Powerhouse
Baylor is 9-0 so far this year, and have earned their way up to number one in the nation as teams above them have fallen time and time again this season. Baylor’s most recent outing may have been their most impressive, as they dominated the Villanova Wildcats to the tune of a 57-36 beating. There, it was the defense of Baylor that really shined, as they pulled off a rare feat in holding the Wildcats below 40 points for the duration of that game.
Baylor’s defense is holding teams under 55 points per game so far this season, which is impressive when you consider what they lost after last season. Davion Mitchell left for the NBA after last year’s championship campaign, and he has already earned praise as an elite defender in the pros. To be playing so well defensively despite losing a player like Mitchell speaks to the overall defensive ability that the Bears have at this point in time.
Expected Line-Up: James Akinjo, Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer, Kendall Brown, Flo Thamba
with best odds
Oregon Ducks – A Disappointing Start
Oregon has had a disappointing start to this college basketball season, going just 6-5 and being well out of the top-25 at this stage of the season. Oregon has also failed in every real test that they have faced this season, losing to Pac-12 teams, St. Mary’s, and any other quality program that they have crossed paths with. They have really harmed their tournament resume so far, but a win over the Baylor Bears could change things for the better.
In order for Oregon to have a chance in this game, someone is going to need to step up and have a huge game individually. Will Richardson would be the best candidate to do so, as he is averaging a team-high 11 points per game and just over three assists per contest. But the Ducks might simply lack the firepower necessary to breach the Baylor defense and come away with the victory in this non-conference matchup.
Expected Line-Up: Jacob Young, Will Richardson, Devion Harmon, Nfaly Dante, Quincy Guerrier
Expert Pick #1 – Oregon +7 @ -110
Our first betting tip for this contest is Oregon +7 at -110 odds. While it seems obvious that the Baylor Bears will continue to roll as the top-ranked team in college basketball, this line is actually moving back toward Oregon from 7.5. Oregon isn’t a great team by any means, but they should compete here at home in a game that they will hope could save their season.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 136.5 @ EVEN
The next bet worth placing on this matchup is the under 136.5 at even odds. Baylor, even if they aren’t going to cruise to victory in this game, are going to continue to put on the defensive clinic that they have all season long. They will have to grind out a low-scoring win if they are going to pick up a win in this game at all against an Oregon team that will be looking to prove itself.
Expert Pick #3 – Baylor Under 72.5 Points @ -115
Finally, it is worth placing a bet on Baylor under 72.5 points at -115 odds. This team total is a correlated play with the full game under for both teams combined. Oregon’s only chance in this game is to hold the Baylor offense in check, and they should be able to do so at least to some extent as they make this a competitive game.
Right now, there isn’t a team in college basketball playing better than the Baylor Bears. But the Oregon Ducks are going to make Baylor work for everything they get in this contest. Expect the Ducks to cover the spread, and for this to be a potential upset spot for another top-ranked college basketball team.