Back Texas Plus Points At West Virginia In Big 12 Action

texas-west virginia

Jay Pryce

Monday, February 20, 2017 2:50 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 2:50 PM GMT

Texas is winless (0-12) outside of Austin and a major long shot to upset No. 9 West Virginia on Monday night. But the Longhorns may be good value on the spread (+16) vs. a mercurial Mountaineers squad.

Texas Longhorns (10-17 SU, 14-12 ATS)

Texas’ tumble continued on Saturday following a 64-61 loss at home to a Kansas State 3-pointer at the buzzer. Let’s not forget, the Longhorns were ranked No. 21 in the AP preseason poll to begin the year. They are now in danger of finishing with the lowest program winning percentage since a forgetful 7-21 season back in 1983. Texas has four games reaming on the schedule, including three against ranked opponents, starting with No. 9 West Virginia tonight.

Texas head coach Shaka Smart fields one of the youngest teams in the nation with two true freshmen and two sophomores complementing senior Shaquille Cleare. Learning and executing Smart’s Havoc press defense, and the signature elements to make it successful, have been a work in progress to say the least. Texas ranks 204th in opponent turnover percentage, plays at a 159th pace rating, and ranks 337th in 3-point percentage according to KenPom.com.

In the last decade, the Longhorns have gone off as double-digit underdogs 18 times, putting up a 3-15 SU and 12-5-1 ATS record on NCAA basketball odds. Five occurred this season, where they are 4-1 ATS, including a near upset of the Mountaineers at Frank Erwin Center in a 74-72 defeat last month. Texas tipped off 11.5-point pups for the matchup. The Longhorns shocked the Mountaineers 56-49 as 12-point underdogs in their last trip to Morgantown in January 2016. Can Texas surprise again? It will be their first win outside of Austin all season (0-12).

 

West Virginia (21-6 SU, 12-10 ATS)

The Mountaineers are prone to some head-scratching performances this year. They lost outright to Temple 81-77 as 12.5-point chalk on a neutral court in November, slipped up against Oklahoma 89-87 at home as 16.5-point favorites, fell to Oklahoma State 82-75 in Morgantown spotting 10.5 points, and needed double overtime to take care of Texas Tech (83-74) as 10.5 point favorites on NCAA basketball picks Saturday. In fact, only Davidson has earned as many straight-up losses as double-digit chalk as West Virginia in 2016-17 with three.

Which Mountaineer team will show up against Texas? Anyone’s guess. It’s a program they have struggled to contain. West Virginia is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 matchups. Only once has a game been settled by more than 17 points, a 77-50 Texas blowout in Jan. 2015.
 

Final Analysis

Texas is young, which is always trouble when squaring off against head coach Bob Huggins’ press at WVU Coliseum. But at this point in the season, there is enough experience within Smart’s squad to counter the shock and awe of Morgantown. Moreover, the gap between the top and bottom teams in the Big 12 seemingly has shrunk this year. Away underdogs spotted double digits in conference play are 13-2 ATS. Texas plus the points (+16) is good value in this spot.

NCAAB Free Pick: Texas +16Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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