West Virginia vs Texas Odds, Picks: Why There’s Value on the Longhorns

West Virginia vs Texas Odds, Picks: Why There’s Value on the Longhorns article feature image

Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Carr (5) of the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team.

West Virginia vs Texas Odds

Saturday, Feb. 11
12 p.m. ET
Longhorn Network
West Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Pointsbet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Texas Longhorns strive to rebound from their recent loss at Allen Fieldhouse when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday.

The Longhorns are currently atop the Big 12 standings with an 8-3 record in conference play, but there are four teams behind them at 7-4. Texas defeated West Virginia in Morgantown in the last meeting and has played really well in Austin; Texas has only lost at home once this season.

West Virginia had a tough start to conference play, losing its first five games. However, the team has won four of its last six — including back-to-back wins at home against Oklahoma and Iowa State.

Head coach Bob Huggins' team is currently projected to be a 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a win in Austin would help solidify West Virginia's resume.

West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers went through a rough stretch to begin Big 12 play, but it seems as if they have finally turned a corner.

The problems for Huggins' team have not been on the offensive end of the court. The Mountaineers are 17th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom.

However, West Virginia really is a bad shooting team. In conference play, WVU ranks ninth in effective field goal percentage (eFG%) and averages a paltry 48.4% from 2-point range — the worst mark in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers compensate for these shooting difficulties by crashing the offensive glass at an incredibly high level. West Virginia boasts the second-highest offensive rebounding percentage during conference play.

The team's other path to offensive success comes via the charity stripe. West Virginia gets to the free throw line at the eighth-highest rate in the country.

The last time these teams faced off in Morgantown, Texas limited West Virginia to 18 free throw attempts and eight offensive rebounds, effectively neutralizing two of the Mountaineers' greatest strengths. Moreover, Texas did what it does best on defense, forcing 20 turnovers.

Nevertheless, defense has been the real issue for West Virginia this season. The Mountaineers rank 38th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.

They have defended the 3-point line at an elite level during conference play, allowing only 31.7% — but Texas is not a high-volume 3-point shooting team.

West Virginia has allowed 41% from the midrange and 58% on shot attempts at the rim in Big 12 play, which ranks in the bottom half of the conference, per ShotQuality.

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Texas Longhorns

In order to slow down the Longhorns offense, opponents must defend well in transition.

Texas spend 15% of its possessions in transition, which is the third-highest rate in Division-I basketball. The last time Texas faced West Virginia, it put up 1.46 points per possession (PPP) in transition, which is well above its season average.

Texas' shot distribution is heavily oriented towards shots at the rim and in the midrange. That is where Texas has attempted 64% of its shots this season.

The Longhorns have been shooting lights-out from the midrange — boasting a 46% team shooting percentage from that spot. Texas also ranks top-10 in PPP on shot attempts at the rim.

In the previous meeting, 40 of the Longhorns' 55 field goal attempts came at the rim or from the midrange. That is also where they scored 42 of their 69 points. (Nice.)

Despite giving up 88 points to Kansas on Monday, the Longhorns defense has been good this season. It's important to acknowledge the pace of Monday's game, which featured 76 possessions. So, Texas only allowed 1.05 PPP — which is still bad, but not as bad as it seems in the final box score.

The Longhorns are seventh in the Big 12 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, but they do two things very well that are imperative againstWest Virginia:

  1. Texas forces turnovers at a top-30 rate in Division-I.
  2. Texas is an outstanding rebounding team.

These two qualities are the main reasons why Texas defeated West Virginia in Morgantown earlier this season.

West Virginia vs Texas Betting Pick

This is a really good spot for the Longhorns. Texas returns home after its loss to Kansas and has a rest advantage over West Virginia.

The Mountaineers may be riding high after its back-to-back wins in Morgantown, but the road has not been kind to them. West Virginia has only won two road games all season, whereas Texas has only lost at home once.

If Texas is able to keep West Virginia off the offensive glass, keep them off the free throw line, and turn the Mountaineers over at high rate — then West Virginia is unlikely to exceed its mark of 0.85 PPP in the previous matchup between these teams.

So, I like the value on the Longhorns -5 (PointsBet) and would play it up to -6.5.

Pick: Texas -5

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