NCAA Basketball: Sat. Jan. 24, 2020 at 8:00 P.M. on ESPN (Exatech Arena)
Moneyline: Bears +115, Gators -135
Over/Under: 131.5; Gators -2 (-135)
It’s a Big 12/SEC Challenge taking place Saturday night as the #1 Baylor Bears take on the Florida Gators in Gainesville. The Gators open up as 2 point favorites over the #1 AP ranked team at home, while the Bear is the 2 point underdogs.
Baylor Outlasts Oklahoma for 15th Straight Victory
After a 67-64 loss to Washington back in November, Baylor has been on a mean winning streak, their 57-61 win against Oklahoma marking their 15 straight victory. What has helped the Bears keep their streak alive is their scoring defense.
Baylor is ranked 5th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 58.5 points per contest. That has shown in their win against Oklahoma, where they limited the Sooners to 35% shooting from the field. Their scoring defense will pose a great threat against a struggling Florida offense that shoots 45% from the field. However, like Florida, Baylor also struggles offensively, as they are shooting 42.8% from the field.
Sophomore guard Jared Bulter is Baylor’s scoring leader, scoring 16piints a game shooting 42.3% from the field. Defensively, Freddie Gillespie leads the team in rebounding (9.9 per game) and blocks (2.2 per game).
Florida Looking For Another Upset Against A Ranked Team
The Gators are no strangers to being in the position to upset teams. Last Saturday night they upset Auburn, which caused the Tigers to drop all the way to #16 in the AP ranking from being ranked #4. They also held Auburn to 47 points in this victory. However, they struggled defensively against LSU by allowing 84 points in the contest and being outrebounded 38-28.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. leads the Gators in points (14.8 per game) and rebounds (8.7 per game). Freshman guard Scottie Lewis leads the Gators in steals (1.4 per game) and blocks (1.5 per game). The last time that Florida face Baylor (back in January 2018), they held the Bears to 60 points and 20% three-point shooting.
While the Gators have the ability to clamp down on their opponents defensively, they are still struggling on the offensive side of the ball. And even though Baylor is not a high-scoring team, they score just enough to keep their winning streak alive, as their defense as well makes up for it. Expect Baylor to cover as underdogs on the road, going in for the win.