Baylor vs. Texas Tech Prediction: Can the Red Raiders Stay Unbeaten at Home?

College basketball expert Mike Spector breaks down the Big 12 battle between Baylor and Texas Tech.
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Baylor vs. Texas Tech Prediction: Can the Red Raiders Stay Unbeaten at Home?

The Texas Tech Red Raiders ended a four-game losing streak against the Baylor Bears with a 65-62 win in Waco on January 11th. Now Texas Tech aims to do something they have not done since the 2004-05 season, sweeping the Bears in the regular season. Will Baylor get back to their winning ways against Texas Tech, or will the Red Raiders take advantage of a short-handed Bears team?

Here are our picks and predictions for the Big 12 battle between Baylor and Texas Tech.

click here for Baylor vs Texas Tech odds

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Baylor vs. Texas Tech Prediction

Baylor (21-4, 9-3) has rebounded from a 24-point blowout loss at Kansas with back-to-back 15+ point wins against Kansas State and Texas. However, the Bears were dealt a massive blow in their win against the Longhorns, as Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua played just five minutes before going down with a knee injury. It was revealed after the game that Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s injury was severe and that he has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

As a result of the injury, Baylor’s frontcourt depth takes a hit, as the team will now rely on senior forward Flo Thamba for more minutes. Thamba is no stranger to the starting lineup, as he was a mainstay in their top five during last year’s national championship run. However, Thamba averages just 17.9 minutes this year, and his 5.0 points and 5.0 rebounds pale in comparison to the 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds Tchamwa Tchatchoua was averaging.

Texas Tech (19-6, 8-4) is a perfect 15-0 at home this season and entered Tuesday as one of 23 Division I teams with an undefeated home record. Not only have the Red Raiders been winning at home, but they have been dominant, as they have won their seven league home games by more than 15 PPG. 

The Red Raiders have been buoyed by the return of future NBA player Terrence Shannon, whose minutes have increased in each of the last four games since returning from injury. The team averaged just 51 points in two losses without Shannon, but the star forward is coming off a promising 20-point performance against TCU, and there is no denying their offense has a much higher ceiling with him healthy.

Given Texas Tech’s home dominance this year and that Baylor is less than 100% health-wise, we are naturally inclined to side with the Red Raiders. Texas Tech is not a team you want to face with limited frontcourt depth, as the Red Raiders are one of the most physical teams in the conference. However, in addition to Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s injury, the team may also be without LJ Cryer, who has missed the last five games with a foot injury. The Bears have lost two games without Cryer and also miss his defensive presence, as they have allowed at least 77 points on three occasions in his absence.

One school of thought is that Baylor will be more explosive offensively without Tchamwa Tchatchoua, especially if they go smaller with Matthew Mayer or Jeremy Sochan at the five as their only true big. However, that is not a strategy that Scott Drew wants to mess around with against Texas Tech, as it would be a parade to the free throw line all day when Tech is on offense. 

No matter the lineup that Drew conjures up, the Red Raiders still rank third in adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom) and are forcing turnovers at the highest clip in conference play. The Red Raiders will be hungry to earn their first two-game winning streak over Baylor in the last five seasons and will do so on a home court where they have been so dominant all season.

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Baylor vs. Texas Tech Pick

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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