No. 1 Baylor vs TCU Predictions, Odds, Picks

  • The Baylor Bears are one of the few undefeated teams left and sitting comfortably at No. 1.
  • TCU has won seven in a row, but they may be missing a couple of key players this game.
  • The TCU Horned Frogs have not played since December 21 but are coming off a 90-55 beatdown against Grambling State.

No. 1 Baylor vs TCU Odds

Team Spread Total
Baylor Bears TBA TBA
TCU Horned Frogs TBA TBA

No. 1 Baylor Bears vs TCU Horned Frogs Predictions and Picks

Many people are going to count out TCU for this game. They are the underdog, but they are also one of the better-unranked teams in the NCAA. It is unlikely that TCU will win this game, but it would not be the craziest upset.

TCU has not played a game in about two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. Their schedule has not been very difficult, but they have shown that they can score. Their defense requires some improvement, but their offense is strong.

Baylor is the best in the country. They are an incredibly balanced team with many scoring guards and a few big men who can grab rebounds, defend the paint, and shoot efficiently. Baylor has a much higher ceiling than TCU but needs to take TCU seriously. If they treat TCU as a contender, they will win this game.

Pick:

Baylor beats TCU 80-71.

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Baylor vs TCU (1/8/2022)

Head-to-Head: No. 1 Baylor Bears vs TCU

Baylor Head-to-Head TCU
Scott Drew Head Coach Jamie Dixon
14-0 (2-0, 1st in Big 12) Standing 10-1 (0-0, 4th in Big 12)
Leader (Per Game)
James Akinjo (14.0) PPG Mike Miles (16.9)
J. Tchamwa Tchatchoua(7.9) RPG Emanuel Miller (6.8)
James Akinjo (6.0) APG Mike Miles (4.6)
James Akinjo (2.1) SPG Mike Miles (1.4)
Flo Thamba (0.8) BPG Xavier Cork (1.0)
(.727) FG% Xavier Cork (.663)
Kendall Brown (.687) 3P% Chuck O’Bannon Jr. (.410)

Why Might the Baylor Bears Win?

More than likely, the Baylor Bears will win. They have won 20 games in a row going back to last season. Baylor makes almost half of their shots and over 36% of their three-point attempts. They need to focus on taking open shots and grabbing defensive rebounds this game.

Baylor is one of the best shooting teams in the country. They do not hit enough free throws, but they are efficient from the field and behind the three-point line. Baylor is a guard-heavy team, and their top-five scorers are guards. Their forwards also score efficiently, but they do not take too many shots. They need to continue shooting well and take the right shots. They could find themselves in a dogfight if they start forcing mid-range jumpers and three-pointers.

Baylor is a smaller team than TCU. They average 39.9 rebounds per game compared to TCU’s 43.7. As a result, the Bears will not have many opportunities for offensive rebounds. Instead, they need to focus on boxing out TCU’s forwards and getting defensive rebounds. If they crash the boards on defense, they will limit TCU’s second chances.

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Why Might the TCU Horned Frogs Win?

TCU is not the favorite to win this game, but it would not be shocking if they did. The Horned Frogs have won seven in a row and shoot the ball pretty well. They are in a unique situation because their forwards carry a lot of the offensive load. They need to guard the perimeter on defense and attack the hoop on offense to win this game.

TCU is bigger than Baylor. This size advantage will allow them to rebound well and defend the paint. However, they are slower than Baylor’s guard-heavy team. Baylor will look to find shots on the perimeter since they are smaller and quicker. TCU needs to find a way to guard those shots and make life difficult for them out there. If they do, Baylor will be forced to score at the hoop and go up against TCU’s taller forwards.

This one is a little more obvious. TCU needs to attack the rim as much as possible. They are simply a bigger team with more talented forwards. Forwards Emanuel Miller and Chuck O’Bannon Jr. and the second and third best scorers on this team and should be given a lot of scoring opportunities this game. The Horned Frogs may struggle to match Baylor’s high-powered offense, but they may have a chance if they give the ball to the forwards.

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Bears Key Player: (G) James Akinjo

James Akinjo is the best player on the best team in the country. Does that make him the best player in the country? Not necessarily. However, he is pretty good.

Akinjo averages 14 points, six assists, and two steals per game. He is a very talented shooter, hitting 44.1% of his field goals and 40.7% of his three-point attempts. Obviously, he is the Bears’ x-factor. Since he scores and distributes the ball well, he is the man that TCU needs to stop. TCU needs to throw him off his game to limit his scoring and passing.

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Horned Frogs Key Player: (F) Emanuel Miller

TCU does not have one player as impactful as James Akinjo. However, they do have some slightly less impactful players. Emanuel Miller is one of those players. Miller scores 11.3 points per game on 47.5% shooting. He also grabs 6.8 rebounds per game.

Miller needs to step up his offense this game and take more shots. He also needs to fight for offensive rebounds to give him or his teammates second chances. Miller is vital to TCU’s success in this game.

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How to Watch No. 1 Baylor Bears vs TCU Horned Frogs

No. 1 Baylor vs TCU Information
What No. 1 Baylor Bears vs. TCU
Where Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
When Saturday. January 8, 5:00 PM EST
How to Watch Big 12 Network, ESPN+

 

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Max Heering

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]