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Baylor vs. West Virginia College Basketball Odds & Pick: Back Bears to Rebound After First Loss

Baylor vs. West Virginia College Basketball Odds & Pick: Back Bears to Rebound After First Loss article feature image

Ronald Martinez/Getty Image. Pictured: Jared Butler.

  • Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears take on Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers in a colossal Big 12 battle on Tuesday night.
  • The Bears are coming off their first loss of the season, and the Mountaineers provide another tough matchup — but also an opportunity to bounce back.
  • Check out BJ Cunningham's full betting analysis complete with updated odds and a pick below.

Baylor vs. West Virginia Odds

Baylor Odds
West Virginia Odds
-188 / +158
Time | TV
Tuesday, 5 p.m. ET | ESPN
Odds as of Monday evening and via FanDuel.

Baylor looks to rebound from its first loss of the season on Tuesday when it takes on West Virginia in a top-10 matchup.

Baylor’s perfect season ended Saturday night in Lawrence, as the Jayhawks were the first team to finally shut down the Bears. Before that, Baylor had been running right through the Big 12 without anyone really threatening it.

Now, we are going to find out if Scott Drew’s team is for real or not because West Virginia is one of the hottest teams in the country.

Bob Huggins has his Mountaineer squad playing its best basketball at the right time in the season. West Virginia has won eight of its last nine games in the Big 12 and has been lighting up the scoreboard.

The Mountaineers are on the cusp of getting a two-seed in the tournament, and a win over Baylor Tuesday night could solidify that.

When Baylor Has the Ball

The Bears’ offense has been absolutely shredding the rest of the Big 12, averaging 1.17 points per possession in conference play. However, the problem against Kansas was their performance from 3-point range, going only 6-for-26.

That was really out of ordinary for Baylor, as it’s the best 3-point shooting team, making more than 42% of its 3-point attempts. Baylor also shoots 3s on almost 40% of its field goal attempts, so as long as it’s hitting a high percentage, it’ll shoot most teams out of the gym.

Baylor also dominates inside, shooting over 55% from 2-point range and 69% on attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math, both of which are the best marks in the Big 12.

To make matters worse for their opponents, the Bears also have the highest offensive rebounding rate in the conference. That will come in handy against West Virginia, which is one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the Big 12.

West Virginia has been improving defensively, but it’s still struggling in a few areas. The Mountaineers have allowed their opponents to score inside at will, allowing 52.1% from 2-point range and over 60% on shot attempts at the rim.

So, if Baylor wants to gash the Mountaineers, they’ll have to go to the rim as often as possible.

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When West Virginia Has the Ball

The Mountaineers have turned into one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country this season, which not something you would have expected back in November.

Bob Huggins’ squad is hitting over 40% from deep and is shooting 3s on almost 35% of its field goal attempts.

However, the problem for the Mountaineers is how terrible they’ve been inside the paint. They are the worst 2-point shooting team in the conference at under 46%. That’s going to be a problem because the reason Kansas beat Baylor is that it shot 67% from 2-point range.

For West Virginia to beat Baylor, it needs to do what it’s been doing well during its winning streak: getting to the free-throw line. The Mountaineers have been getting to the charity stripe at over a 40%, which is the best mark in the Big 12. If they can get Baylor’s starters in foul trouble, they’ll have an advantage because the Bears are not a deep team.

Even though they lost to Kansas, Baylor still boasts the best defense in the Big 12, allowing only 0.94 points per possession in conference play. Baylor does everything well defensively and has one the best defensive backcourts in the country to match up with West Virginia’s 3-point shooters.

So, I think the Mountaineers are going to have some difficulty finding consistency on offense.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Even though Baylor lost to Kansas, it’s still one of the three best teams in the nation. The Bears’ offense should be able to shred West Virginia in the paint while also keeping the Mountaineers’ 3-point shooters at bay on defense.

I have Baylor projected as a -5.82 favorite on the road, so I think there’s some value on it at -4 or better.

Pick: Baylor -4 or better.

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