Texas vs West Virginia Odds, Picks: Big 12 Betting Guide

Texas vs West Virginia Odds, Picks: Big 12 Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Erik Stevenson (West Virginia)

Texas vs West Virginia Odds

Saturday, Jan. 21
6 p.m. ET
Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
West Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Texas heads on the road to a hostile environment in Morgantown as it tries to rebound from its loss at Iowa State on Tuesday.

The Longhorns are currently sitting inside the top 10, but are in danger of dropping out if they lose back-to-back road games in the Big 12.

It's been an interesting season for Texas, which reached as high as No. 2 in the AP Poll. Its head coach has been fired and it's looking like a very vulnerable team.

West Virginia finally got its first Big 12 win of the season, beating No. 14 TCU at home, 74-65. Bob Huggins' team was playing really well during the non-conference, with wins over Pittsburgh, Florida and Xavier. The Mountaineers even cracked the top 25 for a brief moment.

However, they started the Big 12 season 0-5, with four of their five losses coming by seven points or less. They are a team to look out for as we get further into the season.

Texas Longhorns

If you are going to slow down Texas' offense, you have to be able to defend in transition. The Longhorns spend 15% of their possession there, which is the third-highest frequency in the country.

They are averaging 1.31 PPP in transition this season, but that is only good for 131st in the country, per ShotQuality.

Texas' offense tends to fall into the trap of taking too many mid-range jumpers. It happened against Iowa State on Tuesday, as 32% of the Longhorns' field goal attempts came from the mid-range.

The problem with that is the mid-range jumper is the lowest value shot on a basketball court. The two highest value shots are at the rim and from behind the arc, which is why Rim & 3-Point Rate is such a valuable metric.

Texas is 290th in Rim & 3-Point Rate, but what when it does get to the rim, it's very effective.

Texas is shooting 65% and putting up 1.3 PPP on shot attempts at the rim, which is the seventh-highest PPP average in the entire country.

With Chris Beard gone, the Texas defense has somewhat taken a step back from the elite teams that we've seen under his tenure. The Longhorns are 32nd in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 75th in PPP allowed in half-court sets, per ShotQuality.

The biggest problem in this matchup against West Virginia is Texas is fouling at a fairly high rate — ranking 260th in free-throw rate allowed — while West Virginia is a top-25 team at getting to the free-throw line.

Additionally, the Texas defense away from Austin has been much worse. The Longhorns have only played three true road games this season, and outside of a good defensive performance against Oklahoma State, they allowed over 1.05 PPP against Oklahoma and Iowa State.

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West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers went through a rough stretch to begin the Big 12 season, but it seems as if they have finally turned a corner after their win over TCU on Wednesday.

The problems for Huggins' team have not been on the offensive end of the court. The Mountaineers are 20th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom.

The reason for that is not because they are a great shooting team — they are only 72nd in effective field goal percentage — but they do all of the other things at an incredibly high level.

West Virginia hardly turns the ball over, it crashes the offensive glass at an incredibly high level and it's getting the free-throw line at the 16th-highest rate in the country.

Image via ShotQuality

Defense has been the issue for West Virginia this season, as it's currently sitting 48th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.

What was concerning is in the three games prior to the Mountaineers' win over TCU, they allowed over 1.15 PPP to Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma.

However, they held TCU to just 0.96 PPP and most importantly, they held the Horned Frogs to just 1.19 PPP in transition. For the season, TCU is the highest-frequency team playing in transition and is averaging 1.46 PPP there.

So, West Virginia should be able to slow down another high-frequency transition team in Texas.

Texas vs West Virginia Betting Pick

This is a really good spot to back West Virginia. The Mountaineers have shown they are not a 1-5 team in conference play, considering how close their games have been.

West Virginia's ability to get to the free-throw line, crash the offensive glass and not turn the ball over is paramount when you are facing Texas' defense, so the Mountaineers should be able to have success offensively, even if they aren't shooting the ball great right now.

So, I like the Mountaineers to get their second conference win of the season and cover -1.5 (Caesars).

Pick: West Virginia -1.5

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