College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia (Tuesday, Jan. 11)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Avery Anderson III (0).
- The Oklahoma State Cowboys are riding high into Morgantown after upsetting the Texas Longhorns on Saturday.
- Can they pull a second straight upset as four-point underdogs against Taz Sherman and West Virginia?
- Keg breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia Odds
|Oklahoma State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|West Virginia Odds|
-110o / -110u
Oklahoma State returns to Morgantown to kick off the home and home series between the Cowboys and the Mountaineers this year. Oklahoma State spoiled Senior Day in Morgantown last March and denied Bob Huggins his 900th career win by defeating the Mountaineers, 85-80. Five days later, the Cowboys eliminated WVU in the Big 12 quarterfinals, 72-69. Since West Virginia joined the Big 12, OSU is 6-3 in Morgantown.
The Cowboys stand 8-5 overall with a loss to Kansas and a win over Texas in Big 12 play. Head coach Mike Boynton is 80-63 halfway through his fifth season as head coach. But there’s another factor at play for the Cowboys, the Cowboys will play the regular season with no opportunity for the NCAA Tournament.
A 17-month appeal process to the NCAA for recruiting violations postponed a postseason ban for the 2021 season. That punishment, however, was upheld in November, leaving the Cowboys on probation for three years and outside the postseason this March.
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers are 12-2 on the season and fourth in the Big 12. But with No. 1 and the conference leader, Baylor, on deck, can the Mountaineers avoid getting caught looking ahead to their biggest game of the season?
The Oklahoma State Cowboys squared off against Texas in their last game and came out on top 64-51. This was a much needed win after dropping two in a row to two of the best teams in the country in Houston and Kansas.
Against Texas, the Oklahoma State defense stepped up in a big way by limiting the Longhorns to just 39.2% from the field. They also forced Texas to commit 13 turnovers while recording six steals.
That defensive performance was a big reason for the Cowboys’ win while they struggled on offense. The Cowboys shot just 69.6% from the free throw line and 38.5% from the floor. Keylan Boone was one of the few offensive bright spots as he made 75% of his shots racking up 17 points and 6 rebounds.
As a team, the Cowboys are averaging 73.2 points per game but have had issues with turnovers, giving the ball up 15.5 times per game (327th in the country).
They have also had issues staying out of foul trouble, averaging 17.8 fouls per game. Limiting their fouls will be key on Tuesday as the Mountaineers are one of the best in the county at drawing fouls. West Virginia ranks 33rd in the country with opponents averaging 19.2 fouls per game.
The Cowboys have had success around the basket as they are 78th in the country in average height and are grabbing 38.1 rebounds per contest. While they have been decent in two point percentage at 51%, everywhere else has been a struggle for Oklahoma State’s shooting. The Cowboys hit at just 29.4% from three point range and are collecting on just 66.3% of free throw attempts.
Yet, while they’ve struggled on offense, Oklahoma State’s defense has been one of the best in the country. The Cowboys rank 12th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and have limited opponents to an Effective Field Goal percentage of just 45.8%. They are also forcing 18.7 turnovers per game, good for the fourth-most in the nation. Opponents have averaged just 39.5% shooting against the Cowboys, and they’ll need play similarly strong defensively to have chance on the road against the Mountaineers.
West Virginia has looked amazing so far this season, but there have been some recent personnel questions for the Mountaineers.
Point guard Malik Curry was limited to 18 minutes in Saturday’s 71-68 win over Kansas State as he suffered an ankle injury midway through the second half and did not return to the game. Head coach Bob Huggins said he didn’t practice on Sunday but should be good to go for the Oklahoma State game.
Meanwhile, Taz Sherman returned to the lineup Saturday after missing the Big 12 opener at Texas due to COVID protocols. Huggins says Sherman is still working to get back to full strength.
The Mountaineers are averaging just 69.6 points per game but have been even better than Oklahoma State defensively in limiting opponents to just 61.4 points per game. They have also been much better than the Cowboys at limiting fouls, recording just 15.2 per game.
But, like the Cowboys, scoring hasn’t come as easy for them as West Virginia is shooting just 44.5% on the season. They’ve also had struggles of their own at the free throw line, hitting just 63.7% from the charity stripe.
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia Betting Pick
Both defenses should have impressive performances in their own right, but I just don’t see Oklahoma State being able to keep up with West Virginia. Even with the number one team in the country on deck, I know Bob Huggins will be doing everything he can to make sure his team doesn’t get caught looking ahead.
I took West Virginia at -3.5 and would take them as high as a five-point favorite.