Oklahoma State at Baylor -5 O/U 145
Took a contrarian side to victory with the Free Play last week and will do it again here in this Big XII match-up. Subtraction of last season’s Head Coach Brad Underwood has not changed the Cowboys offensive style as they still play a high tempo brand of basketball under new HC Mike Boynton. Their average adjusted tempo has increased in Big XII play from 71 possessions to 74 based on KenPom numbers which is understandable since the league is loaded with up and down style teams. To their credit, OSU has remained an efficient offensive team despite significant personnel losses from last season but the overall number includes more than a half dozen non-conference defensive cupcakes. Games frequently unfold situationally due to styles and what’s interesting here about the Cowboys is how their brand of offense was stoned Saturday by slow tempo-defense oriented Texas. Despite a very respectable 44.8 FG% against the Longhorns who only allow an average of 42%, the game was reduced to a crawl and 65-64 final score.
For the last 3-4 years, Baylor has made a niche for itself in the Big XII playing slow temp and rugged, lock down defense. They’ve developed an ability to slow the conference’s 94 foot, get out and go offenses based on their desire to control speed on each end of the floor. Scott Drew’s team is not a high pressure, pass lane jumping type but one of the get back & set up, contest every shot, clock draining variety. They currently sit 331st in the nation in offensive tempo and and 25th in defensive efficiency which forms the dominant blueprint they use to dictate pace of their games.
Last season in their pair of meetings, Oklahoma State was unable to speed Baylor up. Even with dynamic point guard Jawun Evans and long range sniper Phil Forte leading one of the most explosive offenses in the land, 118 and 141 were the final game totals. Tonight’s number has churned upward rapidly to 145 off the opener of 139 almost identical to last Tuesday’s Duquesne-VCU game used in this blog. Will approach this one the same way based upon fundamentals and recommend a play on the under.