Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Odds & Pick: Bet the Mountaineers In Big 12 Battle
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Derek Culver.
- Monday night has a solid stretch of Big 12 games, as West Virginia battles Texas Tech in a conference battle.
- The Mountaineers have impressed since the start of the new calendar year, while the Red Raiders have been faced with a rough schedule of late.
- Check out Mike Randle's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick based on his analysis below.
Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Odds
Every Big 12 team finds itself in a battle behind the dominant Baylor Bears. In almost any other conference, teams such as West Virginia and Texas Tech would be contenders for the regular-season title.
Regardless, the Mountaineers and Red Raiders have high postseason aspirations and are legitimate Final Four contenders despite hovering around .500 in conference play, and they’ll meet in Morgantown on Monday night in a battle of teams with similar defensive mindsets.
Which Big 12 powerhouse will earn a huge win in one of the best conferences in the country?
Since sophomore forward Oscar Tshiebwe left the program at the start of 2021, West Virginia has played its best basketball of the season.
First, it fell just short of a furious comeback at Oklahoma in its first game without Tshiebwe in the lineup. Next, it earned a hard-fought 87-84 road win at Oklahoma State. followed a buzzer-beater loss to Texas. Finally, the Mountaineers came through with a 22-point comfortable road win at Kansas State.
All told, that’s a 2-1 conference road record and a last-second home loss to one of the best teams in the country.
The Mountaineers have dramatically improved their 3-point shooting, ranking first in conference play at 39.1%.
Big man Derek Culver anchors the middle, as he averages 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. More importantly, Culver is averaging only 2.5 fouls per game, having fouled out of just one game all season.
Since Tshiebwe’s departure, sophomore guard Miles McBride has taken a big step forward on offense. He’s averaging 16 points, four assists, and 2.3 steals while making 11 3-pointers in the past four games.
Texas Tech is again bringing the defensive pressure, as illustrated by its fifth-best ranking in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
However, the Red Raiders have taken a step back in Big 12 play. They’re only fourth-best in defensive efficiency in the conference and allow a Big 12-worst 39.2% from beyond the arc. That’s certainly an ominous sign when facing the best 3-point shooting team in conference play.
Texas Tech has also struggled with turnovers in big games, giving Oklahoma State and Baylor an average of 17 per game in its last two conference losses.
The key to its offense has been Georgetown transfer Mac McClung (16.3 ppg).
He’s averaging 23 ppg over the Red Raiders past two games but will be facing a West Virginia team that puts tremendous pressure on opposing point guards.
Texas Tech will need McClung to handle “Press Virginia” and be the leading scorer. Look for the Red Raiders to lean on sophomore Terrence Shannon (12.8 ppg) and junior Kyler Edwards (10.1 ppg, 36% 3-point) to support the offense given McClung’s tough matchup.
Head coach Chris Beard will need VCU transfer Marcus Santos-Silva (8.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) to battle with Culver, a rough task for the undersized 6-foot-7 forward.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This is Texas Tech’s third Big 12 road game in the past four contests, and it’s coming off two brutal battles with Texas and Baylor.
Look for Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers to pressure McClung into turnovers while hitting 3s with McBride, senior Taz Sherman (38.9%), and junior guard Sean McNeil (10 ppg, 34% 3-point).
Huggins has enjoyed recent success ATS at home against Texas Tech. The Mountaineers have covered four of their recent matchups against the Red Raiders.
I’m laying the small number with the Mountaineers against a Red Raiders team that will likely be sloppy after two difficult conference matchups.
The opening line of West Virginia -2.5 has dropped to -2, so see if you can get some extra value and maybe grab this number at the Mountaineers -1.5.
Pick: West Virginia -2 (up to -2.5).