Monday College Basketball Betting: West Virginia-Texas Tech; Iowa State-Oklahoma
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tariq Owens
The Super Bowl has ended, which means…
College basketball officially takes center stage. And what better to way to kick off this new chunk of college hoops season than with a pair of Big 12 matchups.
Monday night brings us West Virginia traveling to Texas Tech and Iowa State heading to Oklahoma.
Which teams should bettors back to start building their bankroll for March Madness? Let’s find out.
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West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Spread: Texas Tech -12
- Over/Under: 137
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
West Virginia’s offense has been the worst in the Big 12, which has led to a 9-12 ATS mark. The Mountaineers rank 256th in the country in effective field goal percentage, 262nd in 3-point percentage, and 256th in free throw percentage.
Within the conference games, those numbers are worse.
The Mountaineers are last in conference play in 3P% and turnover percentage. They aren’t shooting efficiently and continually give their opponents extra chances to score.
Their defense has been even worse, somehow. In Big 12 play West Virginia is last in defensive efficiency and blocks while ranking second worst in 2P% defense.
Injuries have taken their toll, as juniors Sagaba Konate (13.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and James Bolden (12.2 ppg) continue to be out due to injuries.
Outside of its Jan. 16 loss to Iowa State, Texas Tech has been brilliant at home. The Red Raiders allow an average of just 53 points per game at home and have an average margin of victory of 23.2 points.
They rank third in conference play in 2P% and free throw percentage but the Red Raiders strength is always their stifling defense. Texas Tech is third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, trailing only Michigan and Virginia.
They are third-best in effective field goal percentage allowed and fourth best against the 3-pointer. The Red Raiders also rank 26th in the nation with 4.9 blocks per game.
This will be West Virginia’s third road game in just 10 days, the second time this month the Mountaineers have needed to make that trip. With a young team dealing with major injuries, that is a difficult challenge.
Texas Tech ran into a desperate Kansas team on Saturday and needs this win to stay in contention for the Big 12 regular season title. The Texas Tech defense will make it difficult for West Virginia to score consistently. The Mountaineers only managed 59 points against Texas Tech at home on Jan. 2, and that was with James Bolden.
Home court advantage, desperation, and Jarrett Culver will power Texas Tech over West Virginia for a comfortable 15-plus point win.
THE PICK: Texas Tech -12
Betting Odds: Iowa State at Oklahoma
- Spread: Iowa State -2.5
- Over/Under: 144
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Iowa State (17-5) is 6-3 in the Big 12, just a half game behind Kansas State and Baylor. The Cyclones have won five of their last six games, including road wins at Mississippi and Texas Tech. They’re 13-6 against the spread including an impressive 5-3 on the road.
Oklahoma (15-7) has been a different team since its 11-1 start to the season. The Sooners are just 3-6 in the Big 12 and have lost four of their last five conference games. They’re 15-5-1 against the spread but 0-2 in their last two home Big 12 games.
Iowa State is a legitimate contender for the regular season title after being predicted to finish sixth in the Big 12 preseason poll. The Cyclones feature a top 20 offense and defense as per adjusted efficiency rankings.
They shoot a robust 56.4% from 2-point and turn the ball over less than any Big 12 team. Iowa State is also strong from 3P, ranking third within the conference at 37.1%.
The Cyclones are playing their best defense in years. Last season, Iowa State ranked only 143rd in adjusted defensive efficiency. This season it ranks 19th.
The Cyclones only weakness in on the boards, ranking 194th in rebounds per game. But can Oklahoma take advantage?
The Sooners rank 29th in the country with almost 40 rebounds per game, but within the conference, they’ve been just ordinary. Oklahoma is sixth within the Big 12 in defensive rebounding and eight in offensive rebounding.
In their conference games, the Sooners rank a modest seventh in defensive efficiency. But their offense? Much worse.
In its nine Big 12 games, Oklahoma is last in offensive efficiency, ninth in 2P%, and eighth in 3P%. Teams have caught on to the Sooners offense, and they simply aren’t adjusting.
Oklahoma is trending in the wrong direction and Iowa State has proven it can win big games on the road. The Sooners were exposed in their last home game against Baylor, losing by 30 points.
The Cyclones have one of the nation’s best offenses and the Sooners struggle defensively in all facets. Look for a balanced Iowa State offense to pull away in the second half for an impressive fourth Big 12 road victory.
THE PICK: Iowa State -2.5