While most sports bettors will be focused on the college football conference championship games on Saturday, there’s a nice non-conference matchup in basketball between No. 25 West Virginia and No. 6 Virginia. The Wahoos are home favorites on college basketball odds.
West Virginia at Virginia Lines, Free Pick & TV Info
WVU has never scored 60 or more points in the first half in two games in a season until this year (64 vs. MVS and 60 vs. Manhattan). pic.twitter.com/GvfxVlIph5
— WVU Men’s Basketball (@WVUhoops) November 29, 2016
Why Bet on West Virginia?
WVU (5-1) beat Manhattan 108-61 on Monday. Esa Ahmad made all seven of his field goal attempts to lead the Mountaineers with 19 points. The WVU defense forced Manhattan into committing a record 40 turnovers, the Jaspers spreading their miscues across the board. The frontcourt of Zavier Turner and Zane Waterman had 19 of them.
Nathan Adrian scored 15 points, Daxter Miles Jr. contributed 11 and James Long came off the bench to score 10 in just eight minutes of action for WVU. All 15 players who got into the game scored and 62 of the team’s 108 points came from the bench. It’s the third time this season West Virginia has eclipsed the century mark. The Mountaineers are now averaging 94.7 points per game. WVU shot 47.3 percent for the game and also hit 30 of 43 from the free throw line for 69.8 percent, an improvement over the 60.5 percent the team was shooting entering the game.
WVU leads the country in turnover margin (16.2), turnovers forced (27.33) and steals (13.7). Jevon Carter leads the Big 12 Conference in steals, while Adrian leads the league in offensive rebounds. Every Mountaineer opponent has had at least 19 miscues this year, including two with more than 30. WVU has had 15 or more steals four times in 2016-17. WVU has forced 164 turnovers and has grabbed 105 offensive rebounds in five games.
West Virginia has won seven of its last nine and 14 of its last 18 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams. This will be the 132nd game WVU has played in the Commonwealth of Virginia. WVU holds a 79-52 record in Virginia. Bob Huggins is in ninth place all-time on the NCAA Division I winningest coaches list. His record now stands at 796-322. in his 35th season as a head coach. Huggins needs 10 wins to tie Eddie Sutton for eighth place all-time.
Why Bet on Virginia?
UVa (7-0) beat Ohio State 63-61 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday. The Wahoos trailed by as many as 16. Senior guard London Perrantes scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. “We got thoroughly outplayed in every way, shape or form in the first half,” UV coach Tony Bennett said. “I got after London and said, ‘Let’s go.’ What we did in the second half was mandatory.”
The Buckeyes had been 214-1 when leading by 15 points or more under coach Thad Matta, but Virginia opened the second half on an 11-0 run to take a lead. Junior guard Marial Shayok missed a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds left, opening one last door for Ohio State, but sophomore guard Ja’Quan Lyle’s last-second 3-pointer came up short. Junior guard Devon Hall scored 12 points for Virginia, which won its 24th consecutive game at home.
The Cavaliers have also won 19 straight nonconference contests at home. It hasn’t lost to an opponent outside the ACC at home since falling to Wisconsin on Dec. 4, 2013, also in the Challenge. Virginia is only allowing 41.3 points per game, which ranks No. 1 in the nation. The No. 2 team is Utah at 52.0 points per game. Each opponent has been held to their lowest point total of the season against Virginia and overall 34.6 points lower than their combined scoring average. UVa’s defense is No. 1 in KenPom’s defensive efficiency rankings, while the offense is ranked No. 10. The Cavaliers defense has finished ranked in the top ten each of the past three years.
This will be the 18th meeting between WVU and Virginia. UVa leads the series 9-8 following a 70-54 win over WVU in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 8, 2015 at Madison Square Garden. This will be WVU’s first trip to Charlottesville since Jan. 29, 1975.
West Virginia at Virginia Free Pick: Virginia
Take Virginia at home on NCAAB odds in what should be very low scoring.