Daily Sweat: Oklahoma State, on NCAA tournament bubble and desperate for a win, hosts No. 9 Baylor
Oklahoma State is beginning to wade through some murky waters.
A few weeks ago, the Cowboys went through an excellent stretch when they won seven of eight Big 12 games and looked like a surefire NCAA tournament team. Since then, OSU has endured a four-game losing streak, including a tough 73-68 home loss to Kansas State on Saturday.
Kalib Boone had a strong game for OSU, posting 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, but his teammates really struggled from the field. The Cowboys led 53-45 with 12:08 to play, but K-State rallied and outscored OSU 28-15 the rest of the way to emerge with the win in Stillwater.
Now 16-13 overall and 7-9 in conference play, Oklahoma State is trending in the wrong direction — potentially out of the NCAA tournament field — as it enters Monday night’s home showdown against No. 9 Baylor.
The Cowboys, who are just 1.5-point underdogs at BetMGM, could really use a win.
Baylor is coming off a big win over No. 8 Texas on Saturday. Before that win, however, the Bears lost back-to-back road games to Kansas and Kansas State, snapping a four-game winning streak.
Baylor (21-8, 10-6 Big 12) is looking to move up the seed line and get hot entering the Big 12 tournament. Oklahoma State is fighting for its NCAA tournament life.
Monday night’s game marks just the third time this season that Oklahoma State is an underdog at home. The first two occasions did not work out very well. Oklahoma State lost by 10 to Texas as a three-point underdog on Jan. 7. And then on Feb. 14, OSU was just a one-point dog at home vs. Kansas. The Jayhawks won by 11.
The Cowboys and Bears met in Waco in January and Baylor was dominant in a 74-58 win. OSU is looking for a different result this time around.
Other big games in college basketball
There’s another reeling Big 12 team in action Monday that is looking to reverse its recent fortunes.
No. 23 Iowa State, which has lost five of its last six, is set to host West Virginia. The Cyclones lost 61-50 at home to Oklahoma as a 7.5-point favorite on Saturday. ISU is favored by 4.5 on Monday.
WVU dropped a 76-74 heartbreaker on the road vs. No. 3 Kansas on Saturday and is on the NCAA tournament bubble. Iowa State is pretty much assured a berth based on its resume, but this recent skid is concerning. There’s going to be some desperation on both sides.
Speaking of bubble teams, North Carolina will head on the road to face Florida State. UNC finally got its first Quad 1 win of the season on Saturday when it knocked off No. 6 Virginia 71-63 at home.
Florida State is having a really tough season, but is coming off a buzzer-beating upset win over No. 13 Miami on Saturday. Can FSU pull off another upset? The Seminoles are 7.5-point underdogs at home.
Additionally, the first round of the Atlantic Sun tournament begins on Monday night. Queens is a 3.5-point favorite over Florida Gulf Coast and North Florida is favored by three points over Bellarmine.
What’s going on in the NBA?
There are four NBA games on the schedule Monday night, including two fun ones in the Eastern Conference.
The Boston Celtics edged the Philadelphia 76ers 110-107 in a thriller on Saturday night. Both teams are in action on Monday. The Celtics, who have the best record in the NBA, are 2.5-point road favorites over the New York Knicks while the 76ers are favored by 6.5 at home vs. the Miami Heat.
The Knicks have won seven of their last eight but have been much better against the spread on the road (20-10) than at home (13-16-3). Miami, meanwhile, has lost four straight and has fallen back to seventh place in the East.
Elsewhere, the Charlotte Hornets are 6.5-point favorites over the Detroit Pistons and the New Orleans Pelicans are favored by 3.5 over the Orlando Magic.
5 games in the NHL
There are five games in the NHL, including the Boston Bruins as a -140 road favorite over the Edmonton Oilers (+115). Boston is the best team in the NHL and is riding a six-game winning streak.
The Vegas Golden Knights, currently the top team in the Western Conference, are +115 underdogs on the road vs. the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs (-140) have won five straight.
What's the best bet?
I'll take the under 142.5 in the Baylor vs. Oklahoma State game. Both of these teams played on Saturday and are in the midst of a grueling Big 12 schedule. Oklahoma State is desperate for a win. Baylor is coming off a big win of its own. This seems like a spot where offense may be at a premium.