Stanford Cardinal vs. Baylor Bears Prediction & Game Preview -- 11/20/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 10 a.m. ET
Venue: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX
Where to watch: ESPN+

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Baylor -14.5
BetMGM: Baylor -14.5
Caesars: Baylor - 15

Season record
Baylor: 3-0
Stanford: 2-1

Stanford - Baylor preview and analysis


Recent form
Stanford: won 74-60 vs. Valparaiso
Baylor: won 92-47 vs. Central Arkansas

Not a bad start for the defending national champions in their title defense.

The Baylor Bears will try to push their start to 4-0 this season when they host the Stanford Cardinal for the first time ever on Saturday.

It really is a fascinating time when two programs who have hardly met get together for what should be a fun matchup. The last time Baylor and Stanford met was in the Maui Invitational in 1987. Prior to that, the Bears lost to the Cardinal in Palo Alto … in 1950.

But a lot has changed since then, primarily with the Bears as they’re the top team in the country in terms of winning it all. Baylor is off to a 3-0 start as Bryce Drew’s team while coming off a 45-point victory over Central Arkansas.

Kendall Brown led the way with 19 points and five rebounds, while James Akinjo had a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists while adding six rebounds and four steals.

Defensively, it was a dominant effort from Baylor. The Bears held Central Arkansas to just 31 percent shooting an only 2 of 14 from 3-point range. Baylor forced 29 turnovers and outrebounded the opposition 51-36, including 17-8 on the offensive glass.

“Overall it doesn’t matter who we play, we’re always trying to lock in defensively and to be aggressive,” Brown said. “Our motto is to speed them up and have them turn it over, and that’s what we did.”

When it comes to the Cardinal, they’re off to a 3-1 start with all wins (and the loss to Santa Clara) via double digits. Stanford is coming off a 14-point win over Valparaiso in perhaps the most bizarre box score we’ve ever seen in college basketball. Two players scored in double figures led by Brandon Angel’s 13 points in 19 minutes, and literally every single player on the Stanford roster played.

For a 14-point victory, that’s pretty ballsy.

The Cardinal shot 46 percent from the floor while the Beacons shot 41 and were held to 8 of 27 from 3-point range. Leading scorer Harrison Ingram had only four points and five assists in just 19 minutes.

Baylor is one of those rare teams that can find ways to score and use their athleticism at the other end to stifle opposing offenses. This is going to be the biggest test for both programs to begin the season.

Prediction


Baylor has a tough two-game slate against Pac-12 teams in the coming days with Arizona State waiting in the wings. Outside of that, this is a good tune-up for Baylor before the meat of the non-conference schedule gets underway with Villanova and Oregon down the road. Baylor is 13-5 against Pac-12 opponents in the Drew era, and that 16-game home winning streak still looms large. The Bears with a solid victory. Baylor by 17

Betting trends


Stanford is 10-12 as an underdog its last 22.

Baylor is 57-6 in its last 63 straight up.

Projected starting lineup


Stanford:
PG: Michael O’Connell
SG: Sam Beskind
SF:
Spencer Jones
PF:
Max Murrell
C:
Maxime Raynaud

Baylor:
PG: James Akinjo
SG:  Adam Flagler
SF:
Kendall Brown
PF: Mathew Mayer
C:
Flo Thamba

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Stanford - Baylr prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college basketball projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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