College Basketball Odds & Picks for West Virginia vs. Texas Tech: Bet to Make on Total
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- West Virginia travels to Texas Tech in a game that will highlight defense and a slow tempo.
- The Red Raiders are coming off of a revenge game vs. Iowa State and will face off against Kansas on Monday.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
West Virginia vs. Texas Tech Odds
|West Virginia Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
The West Virginia Mountaineers take to the road to play Texas Tech in Lubbock as part of Saturday’s early slate of games.
West Virginia lost a tight matchup to a short-handed Baylor team Tuesday night, while the Red Raiders snagged a home win over Iowa State by double digits.
Texas Tech and West Virginia have two of the strongest defenses in the country and neither plays at a fast pace. These variables imply a slow, methodical matchup on both ends of the court.
West Virginia ranks 23rd in KenPom’s Defensive Efficiency metric. Much of this is due to its ability to turn teams over at a 24.8% clip.
Texas Tech struggles immensely in this department — with a 20.4% turnover rate — so look for the Mountaineers to take advantage. Kedrian Johnson, Taz Sherman and Gabe Osabuohien should be able to cause some havoc for the Red Raiders, as all three average over one steal per outing.
Texas Tech has three players averaging over two giveaways per game, so this provides an edge to the Mountaineers. However, given how Texas Tech can match up on defense, do not expect many points off of turnovers for West Virginia.
When it comes to pace, West Virginia is far quicker than Texas Tech, but not by much. The Mountaineers average 18.6 seconds per possession on offense versus 18.0 for the Red Raiders. This means each team will take their time coming up the court.
However, West Virginia will likely have issues hitting shots. They average 31.5% from 3-point range and 47.8% from 2-point land. Texas Tech can guard inside and out with its top-five defense, so this does not bode well for the Mountaineers.
In fact, the Red Raiders only allow opponents to hit only 44.9% of their 2-pointers and 30.9% of their 3s.
If West Virginia is going to see success in this game, Sherman and Sean McNeil will have to get going from 3-point range. After all, they shoot the lion’s share of outside shots for the Mountaineers — 55.3% of the team’s 3-point attempts come from these two.
On the flip side, West Virginia’s strength resides in the backcourt. The Mountaineers limit opponents to 31.7% from beyond the arc.
Texas Tech cannot shoot 3s (32.5% on the season), so the points will need to come inside for the Red Raiders, especially with their noteworthy size advantage.
All of the Red Raiders who get the most playing time are lengthy, either on the wing or inside. The Mountaineers’ guards are small by comparison.
Meanwhile, Jalen Bridges, Isaiah Cottrell and Osabuohien are the best options for the Mountaineers to take on bigs Kevin Obanor and Bryson Williams.
Cottrell is the Mountaineers’ ticket to success, standing at 6-foot-10. He will be crucial inside to stop the typical Red Raiders attack.
That said, the Red Raiders will still likely thrive on the glass with second scoring chances. They have an offensive rebounding clip of 35.9% versus the Mountaineers’ defensive rebounding percentage of 33.3%.
The only saving grace for the Mountaineers will be their ability to rack up blocks on the inside with Cottrell and Bridges.
West Virginia vs. Texas Tech Betting Pick
Texas Tech will win this game due to the length of their guards. The Mountaineers do, on the other hand, have the size to match up inside, or at least defend the Red Raiders’ bigs.
Neither team is particularly strong shooting from outside, and both shoot under 70% from the free-throw line.
All of these variables point to the under, so take it at 128.5 and play it to 123.
Pick: Under 128.5 (Play to 123)
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