Baylor Bears at Florida Gators NCAAM Pick – January 25, 2020

Well, when you are hot, you are hot! And we have been steaming hot in 2020, as we have delivered a win rate of over 80% and a cash ROI north of 50% on college basketball. We picked up another win last night, our third straight, when we backed the Marquette Golden Eagles as road underdogs against the Butler Bulldogs.

I felt that Marquette was going to hit a bunch of threes and that the Bulldogs wouldn’t have an answer for the nation’s leading scorer, Markus Howard. And while I thought that they had a great shot at pulling off the upset, I went ahead and snatched up the six points, as I felt that was basically free money and outrageously high value.

It felt like the upset was coming all evening long, as the Golden Eagles held the lead from the fifteen-minute mark in the first half, all of the way until there were just twenty seconds left in the game. But Butler senior leader Kamar Baldwin went absolutely bonkers late in this game to lift the Bulldogs up. Baldwin scored nineteen points in the final three minutes of regulation and overtime, to propel the Bulldogs to the come from behind victory.

But it didn’t matter for us, as we had six points, and cashed another ticket. The win was a must-have for Butler as they had lost three straight coming into this game and had to get things turned around.

For Marquette, they would have loved to have finished off the upset, but in reality, they aren’t going to catch Seton Hall in the Big East anyway, and their tournament ticket is in no real jeopardy, so this loss won’t haunt them. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to Florida, as the Gators host the Baylor Bears.

Today’s Game

  • Baylor Bears (16-1) at Florida Gators (12-6)
  • O’Connell Center, Gainesville
  • 5:00 PM PST
  • TV: ESPN

The Florida Gators host the nation’s top-ranked team, the Baylor Bears tonight, as part of the annual SEC/Big-12 Challenge. The Gators have started out strong in the SEC, as they are 4-2 in league play. That is good for a four-way tie for third place in the conference, but they did lose to LSU in their last game, and the Tigers have a commanding lead in the race for their second consecutive regular-season SEC title, at 6-0.

For Baylor, they have risen all the way to number one in the latest AP Poll, with recent wins over Kansas (in Lawrence no less), Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. The Bears are 6-0 in the Big-12, and they hold nine wins over top-100 teams already this season, with five wins over top-25 teams. That gives them one of, if not the, best resumes in the country as we inch closer to March.

Spread:

  • Baylor +2 (-110)
  • Florida -2 (-110)
Money line:

  • Baylor +120
  • Florida -140
Total Points:

  • Over 132.5 (-116)
  • Under 132.5 (-104)

Florida Gators

The Florida Gators are undeniably a very talented team. But so far this season, it is hard not to look at them as one of the more underachieving teams in the nation right now. Remember, this team started out the year ranked in the top-10 of the preseason AP Poll, and quickly fell out of the top-25, and have yet to make a return appearance since.

None of their six losses would be considered bad ones, and they do have a couple of nice wins, most notably over Xavier, Auburn, and Alabama. But when Kerry Blackshear Jr transferred to Florida in the offseason, this team was expected to compete for a national title, and with zero wins against any team currently in the top-25 on kenpom, they haven’t shown that they are anywhere near that level yet this season.

Baylor Bears

What can be said about this Baylor team that hasn’t already been said? They have one of the best defenses in the nation, and despite a slow pace of play that might hide their abilities on the offensive side of the ball, they are actually one of the more efficient scoring teams as well.

They have the best collection of elite wins of any team in the country, beating title contenders like Kansas, Butler, Arizona, Texas Tech, and Villanova. And they are showing no signs of slowing down. The Bears have shown that they can handle adversity recently as games against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were both very competitive, and the Bears showed a lot of guts coming back from a double-digit second half deficit, on the road in Stillwater, against a game OK State team.

Who Do I Like?

The Gators, despite their struggles living up to immense hype coming into this season, have been quite good at home this year. In Gainesville, the Gators are 7-1, with wins over Alabama and Auburn. The lone loss came all the way back in early November to a Florida State team that just might win the ACC.

But the Gators just haven’t shown me that they can beat a team of the caliber of this Baylor team. This number opened up at an even pick ‘em, and the sharps, as they generally do, saw value in backing the home team, and the number quickly moved to where it stands now as Florida -2.

But I just don’t see how you could ever want to lay points on Florida, against a Baylor team that is the elite of the elite, no matter where the game is being played.

The number has bounced around quite a bit in the early morning betting, and with it being such a high-profile game, with a late tipoff time, you can expect it to continue to move around as the action comes in.

The Bet

I would have expected to see the public jump all over Baylor. It is rare that you can back the number one team in the country and get points in a game. The public tends to really love spots like that. But that just hasn’t happened yet. After the early line move, this number has moved slightly back and forth, but we haven’t seen that big rush of public action that I would expect. That being said, I still think it is probably coming at some point.

I hate to end up on the side of the betting public, but I am going to back Baylor. The game will be hard-fought and competitive, and you can’t love taking a road team in a matchup like this, but Florida just hasn’t shown me they can beat a team as good as this Baylor Bears team is right now.

Once that rush of public money comes in on Baylor, you are going to lose those two points, and in a game that could very well come down to the last couple of possessions, I want those points. So, I will lock this bet in now before it moves. Give me the Baylor Bears as two-point road underdogs tonight in Gainesville!

The Bet: Baylor Bears +2

My Pick
BAYLOR BEARS +2
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL