West Virginia vs. Oklahoma College Basketball Odds & Pick: Bet Sooners to Cover as Favorites
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Brady Manek.
- Having lost to Kansas in its last Big 12 game, West Virginia looks to get back on track against Oklahoma.
- Do-it-all guard Austin Reaves is thriving for the Sooners this season and will face a tough test in the Mountaineers’ Miles McBride.
- Check out Mike Randle's betting guide below, including odds, picks & comprehensive analysis for West Virginia vs. Oklahoma.
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma Odds
|West Virginia Odds||+1.5 (-106) [BET NOW]|
|Oklahoma Odds||-1.5 (-114) [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+110 / -130 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||144.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
No. 9 West Virginia has Final Four aspirations this season but has struggled to win on the road. The Mountaineers are just 4-16 on the road in the Big 12 over their past 20 games.
They head to Norman, Oklahoma, Saturday to face an Oklahoma team that has won its last three battles by an average of 11 points per game.
Can West Virginia grab a huge Big 12 road win, or will Lon Kruger’s Sooners continue to flummox the Mountaineers?
The Mountaineers offense runs through inside big man, junior forward Derek Culver (14.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg). Head coach Bob Huggins expected more of a twin tower approach, but sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe announced Friday that he stepped away from the team.
West Virginia's Oscar Tshiebwe is stepping away from basketball due to personal reasons, per release. No timetable for a return. Significant Big 12 News.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 1, 2021
Tshiebwe failed to live up to the lofty expectations from his freshman season. His 12 points and 15 rebounds in a 73-51 home win over Northeastern was encouraging and compensated for his early-season struggles.
West Virginia will now rely on its guards for increased production. The Mountaineers have three guards that shoot well from deep in Miles McBride (37.5%), Sean McNeil (34%), and Taz Sherman (36.4%).
But West Virginia will still need interior scoring to win on the road, something it failed to do at Kansas. It shot just 45% (18-of-40) from inside the arc despite holding a size advantage against the Jayhawks. Oklahoma ranks 44% at 2-point defense, holding opponents to just 44.2%.
Sooners’ head coach Kruger has created an offense that thrives in efficiency. Oklahoma is shooting 36.5% from 3-point range, 53.1% from 2, and 78.5% from the free-throw line. The Sooners were a missed free throw tip away from completing a comeback against Texas Tech in their last game, losing 69-67 after shooting a rare 17-of-27 (63%) from the charity stripe.
Oklahoma relies on a trio of guards for offense, all of whom provide double-digit scoring and versatility. Senior guard Austin Reaves (15.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.7 apg) has started to look more like his Wichita State days after suffering a precipitous drop in scoring percentages last year.
He has scored in double-digits each of the past six games, highlighted by an 18-point, 10-rebound, seven-assist performance against Oral Roberts.
Reaves’ backcourt mate is sophomore De’Vion Harmon, who’s averaging 11.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in just over 28 minutes per game.
The difficult matchup for any team facing the Sooners is 6-foot-9 forward, Brady Manek (14.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg). He is coming off the worst game of his career when he was limited to just two points and turned the ball over three times.
He also played only 23 minutes and was left on the bench during the Sooners’ big rally. I expect a big bounceback from the senior, who tallied 15 points, seven rebounds, and shot 3-of-7 from deep in Oklahoma’s 73-62 win in Morgantown last year.
The Sooners also have a pair of big men in 6-foot-10 senior Kur Kuath (7.7 ppg) and 6-foot-7 sophomore Victor Iwuakor (7.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg). Kuath is known for his jaw-dropping blocks, and Iwuakor is coming off a spectacular eight-point, 10-rebound, two-steal performance against Texas Tech.
Kruger’s teams are known for not beating themselves, and the Sooners again rank among the nation’s best teams in offensive turnover percentage.
As strong as the Mountaineers defense is, they are forcing turnovers at a much lower percentage than past years. They rank only 137th with 14.7 turnovers forced per game, down from last year’s ranking of 31st.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I haven’t seen enough from West Virginia to think it bucks its Big 12 road woes at Oklahoma. Over the past three seasons, the Mountaineers have managed to cover only 31.6% of their conference road games.
The loss of Tshiebwe can be addressed, but the timing couldn’t be worse. There will be a huge adjustment in roles and responsibilities, which is a challenging variable against a disciplined Kruger team.
I expect this line to increase but will back the Sooners at home as a small favorite. I would play this line up to 2.5, projecting a huge bounceback performance by Manek.
Pick: Oklahoma -1.5 (up to Oklahoma -2.5).