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West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Monday, Jan. 2)

West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Monday, Jan. 2) article feature image

Pictured: Bryce Thompson #1 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

  • Both West Virginia and Oklahoma State are looking to avoid falling to 0-2 in Big 12 play.
  • The Mountaineers blew a lead against Kansas State over the weekend while the Cowboys stood tall against Kansas.
  • Read below for a preview and a best bet.

West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State Odds

Monday, Jan. 2
7 p.m. ET
West Virginia Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Oklahoma State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Both teams suffered road losses in the state of Kansas on Saturday, but which team will be able to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat in their Big 12 opener and avoid falling to 0-2 in conference play?

West Virginia Mountaineers

A year after finishing in the cellar of the Big 12, Bob Huggins has the Mountaineers in a much more familiar place in 2023.

This year’s team may not fit the low-possession, defensive-stalwart mold that the Javon Carter and Sagaba Konate led teams made famous, but the athleticism showcased throughout West Virginia’s nine-man rotation has Huggins and the Mountaineers in line to make a return to the NCAA tournament.

Now at his fourth school, Tre Mitchell leads the Mountaineers in many statistical categories this year, and trails only Erik Stevenson in scoring by less than a point per game.

Although he’s not the team’s leading scorer, even Mitchell’s teammates would likely admit he has been West Virginia’s best player thus far. In Saturday’s overtime loss to Kansas State, Mitchell tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds while playing over 40 minutes.

Mitchell’s main role on Monday night will be to tame the Cowboys’ stout frontcourt of Moussa Cisse and Kalib Boone.

Coming off of an overtime loss on less than two days rest, I would usually be inclined to fade West Virginia on principle. However, this particular contest calls for a more nuanced approach.

Oklahoma State’s loss was not in overtime, but was just as disappointing as the Mountaineers’ defeat. Automatically fading the Mountaineers after an overtime loss won’t be the direction I lean.

Instead, I will have a different take based upon the pace.

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Oklahoma State Cowboys

Bryce Thompson stood tall against his former team in Lawrence on Saturday. In the end, his last shot attempt was blocked by Kevin McCullar Jr., leaving Thompson with a sour aftertaste, despite his stellar effort.

As the Cowboys head back to the friendly confines of Gallagher-Iba Arena, Thompson and his teammates will be forced to quickly put the loss behind them.

A key factor leading me to my pick is Cisse’s dynamic rim protection. Cisse is fourth in Division-I hoops in total blocked shots with 37 on the year. He covers up his teammates’ lapses with his ability to contest shots at the rim without fouling.

He was able to set the tone against Kansas in the first half by disrupting the Jayhawks’ rhythm and ability to rely on penetration to generate offense. Kansas was only able to muster a second-half comeback victory by making numerous difficult, contested shots.

I would fully anticipate Cisse to force West Virginia to do the same. Mitchell’s profile is the primary reason I am hesitant to pick a side in this contest.

High Point transfer John-Michael Wright has been a delight for the Cowboys this season. After leading Tubby Smith’s team last year, it would have been fair to expect Wright to play a similar role for the Cowboys this year.

Wright has taken the role he was initially trusted with and ran with the opportunity, earning himself more of Mike Boynton’s trust and additional offensive freedom.

However, either Wright or Thompson will be forced to spend a lot of their energy chasing Stevenson, West Virginia’s leading scorer.

The defensive intensity the Cowboys play with is their identity. My inclination is to believe tired legs and defensive intensity will lead to this one falling under the total.

West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State Betting Pick

I was on the under in West Virginia’s contest Saturday, which would have cashed if not for overtime. Oklahoma State and Kansas cashed the under despite 75 first-half points and some incredible shot-making by Thompson and Wright.

I would expect these teams to be content playing a slower pace with the quick turnaround after having played Saturday.

Take the under in this Big 12 battle.

Pick: Under 138.5 (Play to 136.5)

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