Houston vs. Baylor Prediction: Massive Big 12 Showdown

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published February 24, 2024
5 min read

No. 2 Houston will put their four-game winning streak on the line when they travel to Waco to face #11 Baylor on Saturday. 

The Cougars are 23-3 this season and 10-3 in the Big 12. Houston has notoriously been one of the best teams in the country. 

Houston beat Iowa by eight points just a few days ago and has another tough test. Head Coach Kelvin Sampson has put the Cougars in a position to win the National Championship, but they have plenty of roadblocks.

Houston has a four-game winning streak, including wins against sixth-ranked Iowa State and Texas.

Baylor, like Houston, has been one of the best college basketball teams in the country recently. The Bears have excellent offensive talent, but they will face the best defense in the country. 

The Bears will look to get back on track after losing to BYU earlier this week. This was a bad loss for Baylor, but one that we predicted at WSN. Let’s predict another winner on Saturday. 

Here, we will break down the game and give our best bets!

Best College Basketball Bets Today January 29

Houston vs. Baylor Betting Odds for Saturday, Feb. 24th 

Houston comes into this top-25 matchup as just a 2.5-point favorite on the road. The Cougars are just 4-3 on the road, so this is a spot where they’re susceptible to losses. 

Houston’s road losses have come at the hands of Kansas, TCU, and Iowa State. All three teams are either currently or have been ranked at some point in the season. 

Baylor has been impressive at home this season. The Bears have been hard to beat at Foster Pavillion with a 13-1 home record. 

The Bears have defeated some of the best talent in the country at home. They’ve had wins against Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State. 

As of Thursday afternoon, 62% of the public money has been placed on the Baylor Bears +2.5.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total 
Houston Cougars  -2.5 (-115) -145 Over 137.5 (-110)
Baylor Bears +2.5 (-105) +123 Under 137.5 (-110)
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We look at the ESPN matchup predictor for every game we cover here at WSN. For this game, it says that Baylor has just a 27.3% chance to walk away victorious despite being favored. Both organizations have proven they can hang with any team in the country, so it should come down to the wire. 

Houston is the second-ranked team in the country and the best in the Big 12. The Cougars are looking for a number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

Jamal Shead has been the star for Houston this season. In his last ten games, he has averaged 18.5 points per game while racking up two double-doubles in that time period. Shead will have his hands full against a fast-paced Baylor offense. 

However, Baylor’s offense should have difficulty against Houston’s defense. Houston has the number one scoring defense in the country, allowing just 55.3 points per game. 

Houston also ranks eighth in the nation in steals and fifth in forced turnovers. It will be interesting to see how Houston’s defense matches up against Baylor‘s offense. 

Baylor comes into this game with a 19-7 record and currently sits third in the Big 12 Conference. Back in January, Baylor had a rough patch, losing three straight games. Since then, they’ve gone 5-2 in their last seven contests.  

Leading Baylor onto the court will be true freshman Ja’Kobe Walter. This season, Walter averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He has become one of the country's best freshman star players. 

In Walter’s last four games, he has averaged just shy of 16 points per game. Only time will tell if he can do it against the nation’s best defense. 

The Bears average 82.6 points per game this season, putting them 22nd in the category. They also have the 13th-best field-goal percentage in the country at 49.7%. 

Houston has struggled at the line all season, with a 68% free throw percentage, while Baylor has shot 72.8% from the charity strike.

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Houston vs. Baylor Prediction and Betting Pick

Neither one of these teams can be taken lightly, no matter the venue. On one side, you have Baylor, who has one of the best offenses in college basketball. On the other side of the ball, Houston has the best defense in the country. 

It’s hard to bet against Houston, given their incredible record, but they haven’t been great on the road. 

Baylor has been an unmovable force at home. Even though Baylor just lost a tough match-up to BYU, we still see this as an opportunity for Houston to get their fourth season loss.

This game should be extremely close and highly contested, but with a spread of 2.5, we will take the money line for Baylor.

If Baylor can acquire a late lead, their free throw percentage will make the difference.


How to Watch Houston vs. Baylor

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 23rd @  12:00 PM ET

  • Where: Foster Pavilion, Waco, Texas

  • TV: CBS

  • Streaming: CBS Sports

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Tanner Kern

Sports Betting Analyst & On-Air Host

Expertise:
MLB
NCAAB
NCAAF
NFL
Online Sports Betting
Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.
Nationality: American
Education: M.S in Sports Journalism
Favourite Sportsbook: Fanatics Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: Caesars Palace
Experience:
4 years
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