College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Texas Tech vs. West Virginia (Saturday, February 5)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Sean McNeil.
- The Texas Tech Red Raiders travel to Morgantown after an emotional win over Texas to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers.
- West Virginia hung with Texas Tech until a late Red Raiders run when the teams played in Lubbock.
- Anthony Dabbundo shares his best bet for this game below.
Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Odds
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
|West Virginia Odds|
-110o / -110u
Texas Tech had one of the most emotional wins of the entire college basketball season on Tuesday night when it beat Texas in Lubbock. The Red Raiders had that game circled the minute former head coach Chris Beard left the program and took the Texas job.
After that impressive win, the Red Raiders hit the road to take on West Virginia, which also has one of the best home-court advantages in the entire country.
The status of Mountaineers star Taz Sherman remains uncertain and plays a big part in the handicap here, but Texas Tech is sure to be overvalued in the market if it moves toward the Red Raiders and Sherman is unable to play in this game.
The Mountaineers have run the gauntlet in the Big 12, have lost six consecutive games and will be hyper-motivated to get revenge on the Red Raiders, who beat them in Lubbock on Jan. 22.
They should be able to exploit the Red Raiders from the perimeter and keep this game very competitive and potentially even pull off the home upset with Texas Tech in a flat spot following Tuesday.
Mark Adams’ no-middle defense has a clear philosophy: Take away everything from the paint and the rim and force teams to beat it from the perimeter.
The Red Raiders rank top-20 in 2-point field goal defense and turnover rate. Texas Tech allows the fewest near proximity to the rim shot attempts in the entire country and is 20th-best at preventing opponents from making the few shots that they do get at the rim, per Haslametrics.
It defends in the half-court and at the rim at an elite rate, per ShotQuality, but there are still legitimate questions about the offense in this game. The Raiders shot the lights out against Texas on Tuesday but can be prone to large stretches of turnovers that hurt the offense. They only covered against West Virginia because of an absurd 36 free-throw attempts.
Texas Tech is 242nd in turnover rate offensively, and West Virginia can absolutely expose it in transition if it can generate more of them. The Mountaineers forced only nine in the first meeting in Lubbock, but this should be a different environment on the road in Morgantown.
The Red Raiders have played five games away from home this season: lost at Providence, lost at Iowa State (shorthanded), won at Baylor, lost at Kansas State and lost at Kansas (in double OT).
The Red Raiders have been pretty mediocre on the road this season, and with the potential to come out flat for an early tip-off, this could be a tricky situation to navigate.
The Mountaineers have lost six straight games, but all of the losses came to teams ranked inside the KenPom top 40, and four of the six losses were to teams in the top 11.
The slight reprieve in the schedule is coming, but first, they get an all-in home revenge spot.
Sherman is questionable to play in this game after a concussion on Monday in the loss to Baylor. Head coach Bob Huggins said he hasn’t practiced all week and didn’t seem too optimistic about his chances of playing on Saturday, but coaches are often misleading. We’ll have to wait until closer to game time to know if he’ll play or not, and he’s an important part of the handicap.
Sherman is WVU’s highest-usage player, shoots 36% from 3 and gets to the free-throw line a ton. Without him, a lot more responsibility is on Malik Curry and Sean McNeil.
When McNeil is making shots, he’s as dangerous as anyone in the country.He’s had plenty of good looks recently but had made just 4-of-17 from beyond the arc in the last four games.
Texas Tech surrenders plenty of open 3s, and the Mountaineers will need McNeil to make three or four 3s minimum to have a shot to win this game at home.
The Mountaineers rank third in off the dribble 3-point ShotQuality and 44th in mid-range SQ, so that’s the path to success against Texas Tech.
Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Betting Pick
When these two teams met in Lubbock, the Mountaineers were +9 and actually led the game with six minutes to play. A late collapse and a ton of free throws powered the Red Raiders to the 13-point victory, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Mountaineers were right there on the road for 35 minutes.
This spot favors West Virginia heavily at home, where KenPom projects WVU as the second-best home court in all of college basketball.
If McNeil and Curry can hit the open shots they’ll have from deep and mid-range, the solid Mountaineers rim defense will keep them in this game and give them a very real shot to pull the upset.
Fading a team off the biggest win of its season is always a good idea, and that’s what I’m looking to do in this spot.
I’ll be waiting until close to game time to learn more about Sherman’s status, but if the market overreacts to his absence, I’ll still play the Mountaineers at an even better underdog number.