Mountaineers & Jayhawks Keep It 'Under' In Lawrence

Kansas Jayhawks  player celebrating

Monday, February 13, 2017 2:52 PM GMT

It might not be a big college basketball betting card on Monday, but it does include several key matchups like the Big 12 battle between West Virginia and the Kansas Jayhawks.

West Virginia Mountaineers vs Kansas Jayhawks

As usual, everyone is chasing the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12 race. Only this time, it feels a little different as the 2016-17 regular season winds down, and as goofy as the conference has been, maybe, just maybe someone will catch the Jayhawks for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming tournament.

That someone might be the West Virginia Mountaineers who have the opportunity to sweep Kansas tonight when the teams collide at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. The tip comes a little past 9 PM (ET) on ESPN, and the Jayhawks are giving up 5 points after Bookmaker opened them at -4½. The 158½ point total is the largest on a short, but significant Monday card.

Round 1 of this new yet budding rivalry went to the Mountaineers up in Morgantown about three weeks ago. West Virginia closed as 3½ point chalk and used a big second half to cruise to an 85-69 decision over then-No. 2 Kansas. Several KU players got into early foul trouble which led to the Mountaineers owning a 19-6 scoring edge at the charity stripe. Despite the loss, Kansas still holds a 6-4 edge in the series, all 10 games coming as Big 12 foes. Three of the four clashes played in Lawrence have been 'over' winners.

Strong 2nd Half Sends WVU Past K-State

West Virginia (20-5 straight up, 11-9 against the odds) hits the road following Saturday's 85-66 win at home vs. Kansas State, that game tied 34-all at the half. The final was more than enough to cover the 8 points the Mountaineers were giving up on the NCAA basketball odds, but head coach Bob Huggins was still critical of the referees after the game that saw the teams combine for 61 free throw attempts.

Monday's battle is the 4th-straight conference rematch for the Mountaineers who sit two games behind Kansas in the Big 12 ranks. West Virginia still has a couple of tough back-to-back road games later this month in Ft. Worth against TCU and down I-35 in Waco vs. Baylor, those contests coming three days apart.

KU Survives Scare in Lubbock

Kansas (22-3 SU, 8-15 ATS) has a couple of tough challenges this week against its closest challengers in the conference, tonight's tussle with the Mountaineers followed by a journey Saturday to meet Baylor, the Bears just a game behind the Jayhawks. Bill Self's squad is coming off a close call in Lubbock where they held off upset-minded Texas Tech, 80-79. Freshman Josh Jackson scored the final seven points for the Jayhawks to finish with a career-high 31.

They needed Jackson to step up since leading scorer Frank Mason III fouled out with just over three minutes left in the game. The Jayhawks will need Mason to return to form to cover the spread, but I'm liking the 'under' in the end for my free college basketball pick.

Free NCAAB Pick: 'Under' 158½

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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