Baylor comes to life, but has a tough test in Texas

Baylor is probably going nowhere as one of the best programs in college basketball as long as Scott Drew is the coach.

Two seasons ago, Baylor won a national championship. Last season, the Bears were the No. 1 seed, although they were upset in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Bears didn’t look so good at 10-5, but that turned around.

The Bears have won six straight in the tough Big 12, are down to a No. 3 seed in most fictional brackets and are also on a 4-1-1 ATS streak. The hot streak faces a tough test Monday night as the Bears play Texas. The Longhorns are 3.5 point favorites at BetMGM.

Baylor’s surge is mostly down to a fantastic backcourt, which should put them on everyone’s radar for a March Madness deep run. Freshman Keyonte George, a McDonald’s All-American last season, had an instant impact. He averages 17.2 points per game. He could be a lottery pick in the NBA draft this summer. He’s the kind of player who can lead a team through a tournament.

The Bears are a great offensive team that has five losses, but all of them have come against teams in the top 25 of the KenPom standings.

Texas suffered a tough 82-71 loss to Tennessee over the weekend, but they’re still a quality Longhorns team. Coach Chris Beard was fired after a domestic violence charge, but Texas continued to play well. The Longhorns have plenty of experience and toughness, and they’ll be tough in the NCAA Tournament as well.

It’s hard to pass Baylor for points, given the quality of their play. If they can beat Texas on Monday night, their hot streak will start to get more attention.

Guard Keyonte George and the Baylor Bears have won six in a row. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Here’s a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:

More “Big Monday” Action

There aren’t many college basketball games on a Light Monday, but the first game of ESPN’s “Big Monday” doubleheader is an interesting one. Virginia plays at Syracuse and the Cavaliers are a 5.5-point favorite. Syracuse is 13-9 but has had some brief flashes of improvement lately. The Orange have covered five of their last seven games. Virginia has won six in a row.

There’s another Big 12 game late as a good team from Iowa State takes on Texas Tech. Iowa State is just a 1.5-point favorite to Texas Tech, which had dropped eight in a row before beating a terrible LSU team. It’s hard to take road favorites in college basketball, but Iowa State is worth the trip.

The NBA highlighted by Warriors-Thunder

The best game of the NBA eight on Monday night is the Golden State Warriors at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder were supposed to be one of the teams in the Victor Wembanyama contest, but they were able to go 24-25 and have the NBA’s best 31-17-1 ATS record. It’s never fun going against Golden State, but OKC could be worth it as a 5.5-point home underdog. The Sacramento Kings (-1.5) against the Minnesota Timberwolves is also a good underhand game between two hot teams.

A game in the NHL

It’s a surprisingly quiet night in the NHL. The only game on the ice is the St. Louis Blues against the Winnipeg Jets, with the Jets as the heavy favorite -225.

What is the best bet?

I will go with the Thunder, who have been fantastic for bettors this season. They will face a renowned opponent in the Warriors at home.

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