West Virginia vs. Kansas College Basketball Odds & Pick: Betting Value Lies With Mountaineers
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Bob Huggins.
- Tuesday night heats up when the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks take on the No. 7 West Virginia Mountaineers.
- The Jayhawks have played well with a tough schedule, but the Mountaineers may be too much at Allen Fieldhouse, according to Mike Randle.
- Check out Randle's full betting analysis complete with updated odds for the game below.
West Virginia vs. Kansas Odds
|West Virginia Odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Kansas Odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+135 / -160 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||140.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET|
The stage is set for a classic battle when No. 7 West Virginia travels to No. 3 Kansas on Tuesday night. With two of the nation’s top teams, which are led by two of college basketball’s best coaches, expectations are high for a fantastic battle.
The Jayhawks have dominated the Big 12, winning 15 of the past 16 regular-season conference championships. Can Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers pull the upset at Allen Fieldhouse?
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia (7-1) is off to a fantastic start to the season. The Mountaineers have elite efficiency on both ends of the court, ranking ninth in adjusted-defensive efficiency and 19th overall in offense, according to KenPom. Their only loss was an 87-82 defeat at the hands of No. 1 Gonzaga on a neutral court.
Huggins’ philosophy is grounded in pressure defense. The Mountaineers are one of the nation’s best teams at defending the 3-point shot. West Virginia has only allowed opponents to shoot 27.2% from beyond the arc and clamped down on Iowa State’s upset bid last Friday night.
The Mountaineers held the Cyclones to just 1-of-6 from deep to end the game and escape with a 70-65 win at home.
West Virginia actually has better offensive balance than in recent seasons.
Leading scorer Miles McBride (15 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 42.3% 3-point shooting) has taken a huge step forward in his sophomore season and forms a strong backcourt pairing with senior Taz Sherman (12 points, 46.2% 3-point shooting).
But make no mistake: the Mountaineers are led on both ends of the floor by the powerful inside duo of 6-foot-10 junior Derek Culver (14.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 6-foot-9 sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe (8.8 points, 7.3 rebounds). Culver has three consecutive double-doubles and has improved to a respectable 66% shooting on free throws.
Tshiebwe struggled early in the season but has responded after public support from Huggins. He has posted consecutive 12-point games and has avoided the foul trouble that plagued him to start the season.
Head coach Bill Self has the Jayhawks (7-1) rolling again, entering this game on a seven-game winning streak. Kansas is coming off an impressive 58-57 win at No. 14 Texas Tech.
The Jayhawks are again strong on defense, ranking sixth-best in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. Kansas is also limiting opponents from deep, allowing only 28.7% shooting from beyond the arc.
After losing over 31 points between center Udoka Azubuike (13.7) and guard Devon Dotson (18.1), the Jayhawks entered the season uncertain of where to get consistent scoring.
Junior Ochai Agbaji (15.3 points) and redshirt freshman Jalen Wilson (14.3 points) have answered the challenge with versatile production. Agbaji is shooting a blistering 47.7% from 3-point range, while Wilson has chipped in eight rebounds per game while shooting 37.5% from deep.
The Jayhawks have seen fantastic production from 6-foot-6 sophomore guard Christian Braun (13.4 points). While shooting 41% from 3-point land, Braun also leads Kansas with 6.1 rebounds per game.
The spotlight for this game will be on 6-foot-10 junior center David McCormack (9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds), who will need to avoid foul trouble while battling Culver and Tshiebwe.
McCormack has performed admirably this year but has yet to face an inside game as strong as West Virginia. He will also need a much better offensive performance, carrying just a 39.4% field goal percentage.
Kansas has generated 55.3% of their points from inside the arc, despite shooting just 45.3% on 2-point shots. The Jayhawks have been bolstered by one of the best offensive rebounding percentages in the nation, but can they continue that schematic against the Mountaineers?
Betting Analysis & Pick
Despite the Jayhawks’ dominance in Big 12 play, they’ve struggled against the spread (ATS) in conference home games. Big 12 opponents are covering at a 62% rate at Allen Fieldhouse since the start of the 2016-17 season.
West Virginia is 3-3 ATS in its past six trips to Lawrence. With a dominant interior presence and strong perimeter defense, I’m backing the Mountaineers to cover the small line in an empty home arena for Kansas.
Huggins has one of his best West Virginia teams ever, and I expect it to make a statement as the team to beat in the Big 12 on Tuesday night.
Pick: West Virginia +3 (down to +2.5).