Kansas vs. West Virginia College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Bet the Total With Jayhawks Cruising (Saturday, February 19)
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Wilson #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks tips a rebound into the basket past Ochai Agbaji #30
- Kansas travels to one of the toughest venues in college hoops to face off against West Virginia.
- The Jayhawks have one of the better offenses in the country, but can the Mountaineers control the pace.
- Kody Malstrom breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Kansas vs. West Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
|West Virginia Odds|
-110o / -110u
I never believed in superstitions, jinxes or curses. I think they are excuses people make to justify why something lost when they thought it was a sure thing.
But I also am a hypocrite — I will never say the word “guarantee” out loud, even if a team is up 100 points.
With that said, if you have been following the bi-weekly futures pieces Michael Calabrese and I have been pumping out, you would tend to notice that every team I write about — whether it’s for the national championship or conference championship — has had a downward trajectory after publishing.
Purdue went from a potential No. 1 team to now a potential early exit — don’t even get me started on Virginia Tech.
Kansas, you’re on deck. The Jayhawks travel to Morgantown in a Big 12 clash as they try and cement their lead in the Big 12 with an injured Baylor squad limping into March.
Will we see another dominant performance against the Mountaineers?
Let’s find out.
If the Kansas Jayhawks want to cement themselves as a No. 1 seed come March, they will need to capitalize on Baylor currently being hobbled. That starts with making no mistakes in the six games left in their season.
One of the streakiest teams in basketball, Kansas got back on the right note with a 76-62 home win against Oklahoma State. Potential Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji got his with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists, but meanwhile the team struggled on offense as a whole.
An uncharacteristic offensive performance for a team ranked third in AdjO, per KenPom, as the Jayhawks shot a pedestrian 25% from three and 39.1% from the field.
The opposite was shown last time Kansas went against West Virginia as they paced the Mountaineers to the tune of 85-59. The Jayhawks didnt even shoot that well, but held the anemic WVU offense to sub-30% shooting percentages.
While KU’s offense is one of the best in the nation, it’s their defense that will make or break them. They currently fit the mold to win it all per Stuckey’s article of 11 teams to win it all, but will need to lock in to strengthen my belief in them as they are currently 34th in AdjD.
They do not force turnovers off steals, averaging 6.48 steals per game — near dead last in the Big 12. They instead impose their size and limit opportunities down low with blocks and dare teams to beat them with outside shooting.
While this may work with their length and size, a hot shooting team can expose this defense and all it takes is one cold night to get bounced from the tournament.
It has not been easy for the West Virginia Mountaineers this season once Big 12 play started. They are currently 3-9 in conference play and 14-11 as a whole while sitting bottom of the Big 12.
In the midst of a two-game losing streak, they look to upset conference-leading Kansas at home (after a dismantling they suffered earlier this season) and avoid the extra game come Big 12 Tournament time.
West Virginia has built an identity over the years by being a defensive-minded squad and this season has been no different. Ranked 37th in AdjD, WVU has been a menace down low with five blocks per game, good for second in the Big 12.
The steals have been at a abnormally low rate but the pressure has still persisted. The Mountaineers will need to once again rely on their defense as their offense has been mediocre at best.
Ranked 98th in AdjO, West Virginia has struggled to put full games worth of scoring so far this season since conference play started. The Mountaineers rely on stud guard Taz Sherman’s offensive production as he leads the team with 18.6 points per game — good for second in Big 12 play.
With a lack of disparity of scoring production, it doesn’t bode well that West Virginia isn’t effective at shooting either. The Mountaineers rank dead last at a 41.5% field goal percentage per game. If West Virginia wants any shot at upsetting the Jayhawks, it will need to turn defense into offense with as many transition points as possible to keep pace.
Kansas vs. West Virginia Betting Pick
As John Denver once said in his classic song “Country Roads,”
Country roads, take me home, to the under, where I belong.
Really poor taste in jokes aside, this game has under written all over it. While West Virginia is no threat to actually upset Kansas, the rambunctious crowd for Stripe Night and the Mountaineers’ style of defense may be enough to give Kansas fits — which would go a long ways to making this under hit.
West Virginia does not pose a threat on offense either, being the worst shooting team in Big 12 play and conference average from deep.
Neither team is up-tempo either, both ranking around average in the nation with Kansas slightly faster, per KenPom.
I will take the under in hopes WVU’s defense will do enough for what I expect to be a clunker of a shooting night for both squads.
Pick: Under 146
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