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Auburn Tigers at Baylor Bears Betting Preview


The surging Auburn Tigers will take to the road for a Saturday NCAA basketball matchup with the No. 2 Baylor Bears. While the Bears have found themselves in the top five in the nation for the entire season, Auburn is just now putting it together behind fantastic freshman point guard Sharife Cooper.

Cooper, a five-star freshman out of Georgia, has almost single-handedly made the Tigers a threat in the SEC.

Cooper will face his toughest test yet in Baylor, though, as the Bears are the top-ranked defense in the nation, according to Ken Pomeroy’s ranking system.


Look for the spread to be roughly 16 points in favor of the Bears at home, with a total of around 150 points. The game is scheduled for a 4 pm ET tip on Saturday afternoon.

Before we move on, we absolutely crushed our last pick here at Top Rank Sports Picks! We hit an underdog moneyline and the total on our Rams at Seahawks betting pick for their Wild Card matchup.

A look at the Auburn Tigers

Auburn was not a team that many took very seriously heading into the season as it was assumed that Cooper would not be playing. Bruce Pearl’s group started the season 6-4 straight up but a fairly horrendous 3-7-1 against the spread. On the season, the Tigers are 3-3 against the spread in true road games.

Since Cooper’s arrival, the only time the Tigers failed to cover the spread was in his first game against rival Alabama, and they only came up short by a half of a point.


Since then, the Tigers are 5-0 ATS and hit the over in three of those five games. Cooper has seemingly clicked with fellow freshman JT Thor, who has scored double-digit points in five of his last six games.

Auburn has won four of its last five games, with the only loss coming at the hands of a very good Arkansas team. The Tigers should only get better in the coming weeks as Justin Powell (11.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 44% on three-pointers) returns from a concussion. It is unknown whether or not he will return for this game.

We have you covered if you missed any NFL action last weekend. Check out NFL Conference Championships by the numbers.

A look at the Baylor Bears

The Bears are, simply put, one of the best two teams in the nation. At this point, there is little (if any) evidence that would support another theory.

They currently rank first in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric and third in adjusted offensive efficiency, making them arguably the most well-rounded team in the nation.

Baylor is led by All-American candidate Jared Butler, a 6-3 point guard who is averaging just over 17 points and five assists per game while shooting a blistering 49.4% from behind the three-point line.

While Butler is very clearly the star, he has one of the best supporting casts in the nation in MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell and Adam Flagler. Of the three, the worst perimeter shooter is Teague at 35.4%, and no one would recommend leaving him alone on the perimeter.

Forward Mark Vital offers a junkyard dog presence and is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the Big 12.

The Bears are a brilliant 11-3 against the spread on the season with an average margin of victory of over 24 points. They are outperforming the spread by 5.3 points per game.

That margin shrinks to just 1.8 points per game at home, but their margin of victory is over 29 points per game while playing in the Ferrell Center.

The Pick

It is difficult not to fall in love with Cooper right now, but Auburn has not faced a team anywhere near the level of the team that is waiting for them in Waco.

I would take Baylor giving up to 15.5 points, but any higher, and the Tigers should have enough scoring ability to hang around.

Take the under.

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