It’s not often that the number one team in the country ranks outside the top 100 in scoring, but in the case of the 2019-20 Baylor Bears, that’s exactly the situation. Baylor is set to square off against the Iowa State Cyclones on the road this Wednesday. The Cyclones will see if they can lock down the number one team in their conference and the country, on their home floor.
Baylor went down early to Florida on Saturday, but managed to surge in the second half to secure their 17th victory. The Bears haven’t lost since their second game of the season against Washington. Iowa State has had a tough couple of weeks. They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 games, including a loss to Baylor at the Bears’ home court on January 15th. The Cyclones lost 68-55 in that meeting.
No Hibernating for the Bears
Baylor has been red hot since starting the season 1-1. The Washington Huskies, who can’t even get above water in their own conference, handed them a loss. Since then, Baylor’s play has been immaculate. The defensive end of the floor is where they push opponents around most. They rank 4th in the nation in points allowed per game, only giving up 58.6 per contest.
Baylor does give up just over 62 on the road, but that’s still good for 10th in the nation as a road team. Senior forward Freddie Gillespie ranks 37th in college hoops in blocks per game, propelling Baylor to a 37 rank in team blocks per game. Jared Butler and Mark Vital combine for 3.2 steals per game, which puts Baylor at 52nd nationwide in steals. An all around solid defense.
Slow Spinning Cyclones
Not much to write home about for the Cyclones 2019-20 season. They head into the matchup 9-10 overall, and 2-4 in Big 12 conference play. Oddly, Iowa State can still run a score up as good as they ever did. They rank 68th in the country in scoring, putting up 76.2 points per game. Of course, when your defense ranks 258th in points allowed, that’s what’s necessary to win games.
Iowa State is led by sophomore guard duo, Rasir Bolton and Tyrese Haliburton. The combo produces over 30 points and 10 assists per game, combined. Haliburton also leads the team in rebounds and steals, averaging 5.9 and 2.6 respectively. Hold on tight to the ball around these two guards, or they will turn you over.
Recent history tells us that Baylor should mop the floor with these boys. Their defense contains well enough to hold back the efforts of the two Iowa State guards. Baylor was favored by 9 when these two teams met a few weeks ago, and covered with ease. Baylor is 12-6 against the spread this season, and Iowa State comes in 10-9.
The pick here is for the country’s top team to win and cover the spread. Pick Baylor at William Hill and feel good about it.