Kansas State vs. West Virginia College Basketball Odds & Pick: Betting Value Lies With Wildcats
David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Bob Huggins.
- West Virginia is a big favorite at home against Kansas State as the Mountaineers look to improve their tournament seeding.
- Despite their record, the Wildcats have been playing better of late, and have won two straight.
- Can the Mountaineers cover at home? Stuckey breaks it down below.
Kansas State vs. West Virginia Odds
West Virginia isn’t catching Baylor in the standings, but the Mountaineers do sit in second place in the Big 12 after taking care of business in the Lone Star State against Texas and TCU.
If the season ended today, they would likely get a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but they’re certainly very close to breaking through onto the No. 2 line.
This might be Bob Huggins’ best offense in Morgantown since his Final Four club back in 2010. The defense isn’t as dominant as some recent WVU teams, but Huggins has bonafide shot makers in Taz Sherman and Miles McBride, with a workhorse underneath in Derek Culver.
It hasn’t been as rosy of a season in Manhattan. A very inexperienced Kansas State team has had all kinds of offensive issues, which led to an ugly 0-14 start to league play. However, the Wildcats have won their past two conference games, including an upset win over Oklahoma as 10-point home underdogs in their most recent outing.
Can the Wildcats build on those two victories and keep this game competitive? Let’s take a look.
Can the Young Cats Keep it Rolling?
I actually fancy the Wildcats here in what could be a flat spot for West Virginia after a successful Texas road trip and with a home game against Baylor on deck next Tuesday.
I just think the market hasn’t caught up to a much-improved Kansas State team. It’s not surprising the offense is playing a lot better late in the year, as KSU has one of the least experienced rosters in the country. The Wildcats rank 335th in experience, per KenPom.
This is a club that couldn’t get out of its own way during the first three months of the season. However, the Wildcats have slowly started to turn things around in February.
They had a three-point loss to Texas earlier in the month and then picked up their first two conference wins in their two most recent games against Oklahoma and at TCU.
Kansas State is still one of the worst shooting teams in the country, but I think we can expect a little better than its 27.5% mark from three in league play, especially with a young group playing with much more confidence on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, West Virginia has been quite fortunate to date in regards to 3-point shooting. In Big 12 play, the Mountaineers are shooting a silly 40.9% from beyond the arc. And based on the historical shooting percentages of their personnel and the tough shots they take, I can’t envision the Mountaineers maintaining that pace.
They’ve been the fifth-luckiest team in regards to Adjusted Shot Quality, per Shot Quality. Negative shooting regression seems imminent.
On the other end of the floor, West Virginia has allowed the sixth-highest rate of open jump shots, per Synergy. Bob Huggins’ group has just been fairly lucky when opponents fire up those open shots.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I’ll admit the Kansas State turnover issues are troubling in this matchup, but the Wildcats can at least compete on the boards on both ends.
Yes, West Virginia rolled by 22 earlier this season in Manhattan, but this is a much improved Kansas State squad. Bruce Weber’s bunch will also try to grind this game to a halt, which makes catching this big number even more enticing.
I think it can stay within this number, even if it might not look very pretty for long stretches.
Let’s hope Dub V comes out a little flat and the overdue regression monster makes an appearance. EMAW.
Pick: Kansas State +15 or better.