College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions for Baylor vs. West Virginia (Tuesday, Jan. 18)
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (Baylor)
- Updated odds for Baylor vs. West Virginia list the Baylors as a 6-point favorite in Morgantown, with the total at 138.5.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down how to bet this game depending on who plays and who sits.
- Get his full Baylor vs. WVU preview below.
Baylor vs. WVU Odds
-110o / -110u
|West Virginia Odds|
-110o / -110u
After 21 straight victories, the Bears have inexplicably lost two straight games. Somehow, both losses came in Waco.
Meanwhile, West Virginia is 2-2 in conference play with losses to Kansas and Texas. Bob Huggins’ squad will be looking for its first resume win since hosting UConn on Dec. 8.
But will Baylor’s skid continue? Or will Scott Drew and the Bears bounce back en route to covering a 6.5-point spread?
Diving deep into Baylor’s losses, a few key things came up.
First: Baylor got dominated on the interior. Texas Tech made a whopping 24 of its 41 2-point attempts (59%) while Oklahoma State made 20 of its 40 (50%). A lot of those buckets came on lane drives from bigger ball-handlers (TTU’s Adonis Arms and OKST’s Bryce Thompson), which was a common weakness for the Bears last season.
The Bears were also shut down on the offensive end. Baylor shot a respectable 47% against the Red Raiders, but it went 10-for-30 from 2-point range against Oklahoma State.
Moreover, the Bears were out-rebounded defensively in both games. That includes allowing a whopping 31 defensive rebounds to the Cowboys.
Finally, Baylor’s been running with a short bench recently. The Bears only went eight-deep in both losses, likely missing the presence of freshman big man Jeremy Sochan (ankle).
At the time of this writing, Sochan is still on the injury list. Moreover, the Bears may have added another key player to that list:
Scott Drew said he doesn’t know if James Akinjo or Jeremy Sochan will play tomorrow against West Virginia #SicEm
— Niki Lattarulo (@NikiLattarulo) January 17, 2022
I’d keep a keen eye on the injury report. If both are in, Sochan’s return will help with Baylor’s interior issues. But if both are out, things could get ugly in Morgantown on Tuesday.
I bet coach Huggins is really missing Oscar Tshiebwe right now.
The Mountaineers rank 331st nationally in defensive rebounding rate. This is rather strange because the Mountaineers do a lot of similar things well.
West Virginia rebounds well on the offensive end, ranking second in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game. The Mountaineers also force turnovers (11th nationally in defensive turnover rate) with a lot of those being blocked shots (14th nationally in defensive block rate).
But the Mountaineers’ frontcourt is not strong overall. Center Isaiah Cottrell is the top player in that unit, as well as the tallest (6-foot-10). Outside of him, a lot of the interior pressure is put on the shoulders of the 6-foot-7 sophomore Jalen Bridges.
Offensively, everything falls on the shoulders of Taz Sherman. Sherman is involved in 29.3% of the team’s total possessions and takes 31% of the team’s total shots — both stats rank top-70 nationally. He also leads the team in assist rate.
As a result, Sherman is dropping 19 points per game. But he also has an eFG% under 49%, and the whole team is 255th nationally in that stat. The Mountaineers are also 255th in offensive steal rate.
Sherman is a good basketball player, but he’s clearly not equipped to carry this much of an offense. The Mountaineers do a lot of things well, but the team’s ceiling isn’t very high.
Plus, Sherman might be hurt. Here’s coach Huggins Monday afternoon speaking about Sherman’s health.
WVU HC Bob Huggins with an update on Taz Sherman
“I know he’s not what he was." pic.twitter.com/JaE3bZOH2Y
— Ethan Bock (@ethanbock_) January 17, 2022
Baylor vs. West Virginia Betting Pick
Honestly, there’s too much injury news here to reliably pick a side. All we can do is wait and see when it comes to the final injury reports before handicapping this game.
However, I do have some leans based on who’s in or who’s out:
- If James Akinjo and Sochan are out: Bet WVU +6.5
- If Akinjo and Sochan are in but Sherman is out: Bet Baylor -6.5
- If all three are in: Bet over 138 (Baylor vs. WVU is 4-1 to the over in the last five)
- If all three are out: Bet under 138
Pick: Wait for injury reports
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