NCAAB Odds, Pick for Kansas vs West Virginia

NCAAB Odds, Pick for Kansas vs West Virginia article feature image

LAWRENCE, KANSAS – JANUARY 13: Hunter Dickinson #1 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts after scoring during the 1st half of the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Allen Fieldhouse on January 13, 2024 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kansas vs West Virginia Odds

Saturday, Jan. 20
4 p.m. ET
Kansas Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
West Virginia Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Let's take a look at the Kansas Jayhawks vs. West Virginia Mountaineers odds and make a prediction for Saturday afternoon's Big 12 college basketball matchup.

West Virginia returns home following a brief road trip to Norman, Oklahoma, where the Mountaineers were soundly defeated by the Sooners Wednesday night.

The Mountaineers' opponent in this matchup also makes its way to Morgantown after a brief trip to Oklahoma. Kansas will face off against West Virginia with a fair amount of momentum. The Jayhawks' trip to Oklahoma was much more pleasant, as they completed a 24-point victory in Stillwater over Oklahoma State on Tuesday night after defeating the Sooners at home in their prior contest.

The Mountaineers will look to stop the Jayhawks' momentum and create some of their own on Saturday afternoon.

Kansas Jayhawks

After defeating Oklahoma State Tuesday night, the Jayhawks finally pushed their record over .500 (9-8) in Stillwater during Bill Self's tenure. Self has a winning record at all Big 12 road venues except one (not including the 0-1 record the Jayhawks now have at UCF): WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

Historically, West Virginia has been among the most challenging venues for road opponents. But the Mountaineers built that reputation on the back of Bob Huggins and the high-pressure, full-court press style his teams typically played with.

The Mountaineer basketball program is now in a transitory phase.

Josh Eilert inherited a program in turmoil in the offseason. As the Bob Huggins saga played out, it hindered Eilert's ability to establish a culture and recruit. Furthermore, RaeQuan Battle's eligibility saga was a constant distraction early in Eilert's first year, and it was only recently resolved. If the Mountaineer faithful expected Eilert to quickly pick up where Huggins left off, that expectation now seems unreasonable. Despite making the NCAA Tournament last year, it's easy to forget WVU went 19-15 in Huggins' final season at the helm last year.

Eilert was thrilled to get the Big 12 monkey off his back by defeating Texas a week ago at home to tally WVU's first conference win this season. That win ensured West Virginia would not go winless in the Big 12 this year.

The Jayhawks are 4-6 in Morgantown, Virginia, under Self, implying a loss is in the cards for Kansas. Yet, you'd have to figure a loss to potentially the Big 12's worst team this year would be quite a shock for the No. 3 ranked Jayhawks.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Despite the venue and its difficulty, losing in Morgantown Saturday would be more shocking than the Jayhawks' recent loss to UCF.

UCF has since proven its viability in the Big 12 by beating Texas in Austin, establishing West Virginia as the worst team in this year's Big 12 conference.

And, given Johnny Furphy has provided a boost to Self's starting lineup, a loss to West Virginia would be a genuinely jarring result.

After his offense was stale in Orlando in the second half of the loss to UCF, Bill Self decided to make a change. Sites like EvanMiya and BartTorvik showed how much more efficient Kansas was with Furphy on the floor in place of Elmarko Jackson. It's unclear if Self or his staff use analytical sites such as those as part of their decision-making process, but he did it anyway.

Since being made the fifth starter to supplement the production of Kansas' core four, Furphy has made the most of his opportunity. Furphy provides energy and length defensively that Jackson didn't. While Jackson is a superior ball-handler, Furphy earns his team extra possessions on the offensive glass. And, potentially, Furphy's biggest attribute to Kansas is his ability to stretch the court by making open shots from beyond the arc.

Kansas desperately needed someone to provide spacing on the offensive end. Spacing allows Hunter Dickinson to face fewer double-teams where Jackson's defender may have sagged down low. Open lanes created by Furphy's floor spacing also allow DaJuan Harris and Kevin McCullar to penetrate and score or dish.

The entire offense has flowed better with Furphy on the floor, and the core four (including KJ Adams) have looked more comfortable in their roles.

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Kansas vs. West Virginia

Betting Pick & Prediction

Big 12 home courts must be respected. The points that bookmakers shade toward the home teams of the Big 12 may occasionally seem high, yet almost always are warranted. Houston losing two road games before coming home and beating up on Texas Tech was further evidence.

When Kansas visits, the Jayhawks are almost always greeted by the most hostile home crowds a venue can provide. I expect that to happen in Morgantown on Saturday but with one caveat: if Kansas can get out to an early lead, the energy and hostility of the Mountaineer faithful may evaporate quickly. WVU fans are intelligent basketball observers who likely already know they are in for an uphill battle against the Jayhawks.

I'm taking Kansas to come prepared with their newly thriving starting lineup, which will likely take the steam out of WVU's home fans early. Expect Kansas to be more than happy to push tempo if the Mountaineers try to make this an up-and-down game, ultimately leading to more possessions and a Kansas cover.

Pick: Kansas -11 (Play to -12.5)

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Sean Treppedi
Apr 12, 2024 UTC