West Virginia vs Oklahoma Odds, Pick for Wednesday

West Virginia vs Oklahoma Odds, Pick for Wednesday article feature image
Credit:

Via Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Javian McCollum #2 of the Oklahoma Sooners in action during the 1st half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on January 13, 2024 in Lawrence, Kansas.

West Virginia vs Oklahoma Odds, Pick

Wednesday, Jan. 17
8 p.m. ET
ESPN+
West Virginia Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+12.5
-122
145.5
-112o / -108u
+575
Oklahoma Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-12.5
+102
145.5
-112o / -108u
-850
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

After an impressive and surprising start to the year, the Sooners came back down to earth last week after a pair of Big 12 road losses.

The West Virginia Mountaineers will be a welcome sight for the Sooners. After the departure of Bob Huggins and all the accompanying chaos, the Mountaineers are reeling this season and might be the weakest team in the Big 12. Oklahoma will certainly look to get right and avoid three consecutive conference losses as they return home Wednesday night.


West Virginia Mountaineers

Many were wondering when or if West Virginia would manage to capture its first Big 12 victory given the current state of the program. Prior to the season, many assumed the Big 12 newcomer UCF Knights would be the league's worst team. UCF's win over Kansas is the latest evidence that the Knights can point to as proof of their competitiveness.

Shortly after, West Virginia showed their fight by pulling out a narrow home win over Texas – a team that is coming off a Big 12 Tournament title last season.

RaeQuan Battle, a two-time transfer who initially had his eligibility rejected by the NCAA, has been through a lot this season. When all two-time transfers recently were made eligible via a court ruling, Battle finally took the floor for a West Virginia team in desperate need of his services. He transferred to WVU after leading Montana St. to an NCAA Tournament appearance by winning the Big Sky last year.

First-year head coach Josh Eilert has only had the benefit of Battle's availability for the last six contests. Battle and his backcourt partner Kerr Kriisa helped lead the Mountaineers to their best win of the year against Texas in their most recent game. If Eilert leads his team to more victories in the toughest conference in America, the Mountaineers will continue to show they are a far cry from the team that lost at home to Monmouth in November.

Unfortunately, simply improving upon West Virginia's early season performances won't necessarily warrant wins in Big 12 play.


Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma's current two-game losing streak is the unfortunate product of playing in the Big 12. Both losses came in road environments, and neither was truly embarrassing. In other leagues – maybe even other high-major leagues – two consecutive losses would signal a need for the panic button…but not in the Big 12

The Sooners were competitive in both losses last week. In fact, Oklahoma only trailed by one at the half against Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. The constant in both losses was an uptick in defensive breakdowns in comparison to the standard Porter Moser's team had set during its 13-1 start to the year. When Oklahoma did force missed shots, it did a poor job of finishing possessions with defensive rebounds.

Moser's teams are always disciplined as he has frequently overcome talent deficits by coaching sound defensive teams with the toughness to rebound and win loose balls. Oklahoma also has typically forced more turnovers than it has given away on the offense. The commonalities that have made Oklahoma great evaded the Sooners in their consecutive losses to TCU and Kansas.

After forcing only two total turnovers against a Kansas team that had given the ball away 18+ times against UCF and TCU, Oklahoma must shift back to its defensive intensity. Even in Kriisa's best days at Arizona, he struggled at times with turnovers and poor decisions. The Sooners will surely look to get their hands in passing lanes and deny easy passes against the Mountaineers.

If the Sooners can force everything to feel very difficult offensively for the Mountaineers, frustration could set in and lead to easy scoring opportunities in transition.


West Virginia vs. Oklahoma

Betting Pick & Prediction

Following two losses, Oklahoma's defensive intensity and energy should be evident from the jump. Expect the Sooners to try to make a statement early against a West Virginia team that may be feeling somewhat relieved to get its first Big 12 win before the noise started getting really loud.

Take the Sooners to get back on track from the word go against a Mountaineer basketball program in flux.

Pick: Oklahoma 1st Half  -9.5 (Bet to -10)

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