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Baylor vs. BYU Prediction: Top 25 Battle in Provo

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published February 20, 2024
10 min read

On Tuesday night, ESPN will showcase a massive battle in Provo, Utah. The 11th-ranked Baylor Bears will face the BYU Cougars on the road. 

The Cougars are the 25th-ranked program in the nation, but they have struggled in the Big 12 at just 6-6. This is terrible news for them on Wednesday, with one of the best teams in the conference coming to town. 

The Cougars are 12-1 in games against non-Big 12 teams, but this doesn’t result in championships. The Provo faithful should be rocking with one of the best programs in the country coming to town, and the Cougars must rise to the occasion. 

Despite having the home crowd, BYU will still have their backs against the wall. Baylor is efficient, and they’re 4-1 over their past five games. 

Here, we will break down the game and our best bets for Baylor vs. BYU.

Baylor forward Jalen Bridges scores against West Virginia

Baylor vs. BYU Betting Odds for Tuesday, February 20

Baylor is a better team, but they’re an underdog on Tuesday night. BYU has a hostile home environment, which is the biggest reason they’re a 3.5-point favorite. 

The Cougars are -162 on the moneyline, which is a hefty price considering they’re coming off a loss. The Bears are +134, which is an appealing price at first glance. Yet, it’s still surprising to see the Bears as an underdog, and bookmakers don’t give gifts. 

The total is high with the combination of two elite offenses. The line is 156.5, with most bets coming in on the under. Offenses fluctuate, so seeing money coming in under 156.5 makes sense. 

Teams Spread Moneyline Total 
Baylor Bears +3.5 (-110) +134 Over 156.5 (-105)
BYU Cougars -3.5 (-110) -162 Under 156.5 (-115)

Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel and get $150 in bonus bets if you wager $5 on your first bet and win.

You're not alone if you’re surprised to see BYU listed as a 3.5-point favorite with a -162 moneyline price. Baylor is the 11th-ranked team in the nation, plays intense basketball, and just beat West Virginia by 13 points on the road. 

Despite this, the numbers show this game will be close, and the Cougars may have the edge at home. If BYU plays their best game, they’re better than Baylor in every facet of the action.

When it comes to offense, both teams score 83 points per game. Depending on the night, they each shoot around 47-50% from the field. Offense fluctuates in college basketball, but defense never dies. 

BYU should have the home-court advantage, and they play well in the backcourt. This will be tough for the Bears to overcome. BYU allows 68.6 points per game and racks up 6.3 steals per game. 

The Bears can match BYU’s play on defense, but when things get tough in this game, we trust the Cougars in the backcourt a little more. 

The KenPom Ratings are among the most significant indicators of success in college basketball. The statistics allow us to compare matchups and predict how they will develop. 

The Cougars are 52nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, while Baylor is 75th. The 23-spot difference in this metric should make a significant difference in the contest. 

On offense, Baylor has a slight advantage, but it’s only a four-position difference. Both teams will score, but we trust BYU to get a few extra stops in the game's final stretch. 

Baylor is 12th, and BYU is 16th overall in the KenPom Ratings, but the home court swings the advantage to the Cougars. Even though BYU has a statistical advantage, they need their stars to be excellent throughout the 40 minutes of play. 

Jaxson Robinson, BYU’s best guard, has been tremendous this season. His consistency has fluctuated over the past five games, but we expect him to rise to the occasion. 

In his first game of the season against Baylor, he shot just 25% from the field and scored 10 points. This isn’t good enough, and if he plays like this, the Bears will cruise to victory. 

Baylor dominated the first meeting on January 9, winning 81-72. Jalen Bridges was fantastic for the Bears, scoring 25 points in this game. BYU had no answer for Baylor’s size, but look for them to have a better gameplan coming into Tuesday night. 

Baylor vs. BYU Prediction and Betting Pick

It’s tough to lay 3.5 points with BYU, considering they’re .500 in the Big 12. Now, they have one of the best teams in America coming to town, but we still like the Cougars in this spot. 

These teams are very even on paper, but the separating factor is the home crowd for BYU. This is a great revenge spot for BYU, so look for them to exploit their opportunity. 

BYU is making its push for seeding in the NCAA Tournament. They’re still at risk of not making the big dance if they don’t finish the season strong and carry their momentum into the Big 12 tournament

Look for an inspired effort from BYU and the team to cover the spread. 

How to Watch Baylor vs. BYU

  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 20 @ 9:00 PM ET

  • Where: Marriott Center, Provo, UT

  • TV: ESPN

  • Streaming: ESPN+

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Bryan Zarpentine

162 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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