Back WVU -4 Over Texas with NCAA Basketball Picks ATS: Pressing Defense, Home Court Advantage & More

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 3:53 PM GMT

Here's our professional NCAA Basketball Pick for Texas vs. WVU today. It is a matchup of a West Virginia team playing with revenge and for a chance at a Top 4 seed in upcoming Big 12 twenty action.  

Texas vs. WVU (-4-) 7:00 ET ESPN2
Texas travels to West Virginia for this 7:00 ET Big 12 tip on ESPN2. Texas has faltered with a 17-10 SU record, including 6-8 SU in Big 12 play.  As such, they are among numerous “bubble teams” vying for an NCAA invite.  These teams met earlier in the season with Texas recording a 77-50 win in Austin on January 17th.  In that victory, Texas held a commanding 44-32 rebounding edge while allowing WVU to shoot just 24% from the floor.  That victory made it 4 consecutive in the series for Texas with wins by an average of 18 PPG, including their 3-0 sweep last year.  This article will point out why the Mountaineers get their revenge rather than why Texas continues its dominance.

Since January 24th, Texas has lost their way going 3-6 SU, 4-5 ATS.  Most disturbing for Texas is their play vs. the upper echelon of the Big 12.  Among their 8 Big 12 losses are double digit blowouts at the hands of Baylor by 23, Kansas by 13, Oklahoma St. by 11 and Oklahoma by 21.  The Longhorns are a big, strong athletic team with a +9.8 rebound margin per game.  But, they only shoot 43% from the field and 34% from the arc.  Their biggest issue tonight (important to keep in mind when placing NCAA Baskeball picks) will be the fact they commit over 13 TOs per game while forcing only 9 TOs per game.  This plays right into the hands of the pressure defense of WVU which is among the national leaders in forcing 21 TOs per game.

WVU is one of the most improved teams in Big 12 play.  The Mounties were 17-16 SU last season, losing in the first round of the NIT.  This year, they have a 21-6 SU mark, including 10-3 SU at their home Coliseum.   They have played their best ball of the year in the last week with a 62-61 win vs. Kansas, followed by a 73-63 victory at Oklahoma St. on Saturday.   

Expect WVU to continue the momentum of last week’s play fueled by their pressing defense, home court advantage & exemplified by their status as favorites in the NCAA Basketball odds.  As such, they will easily avenge their earlier 27 point loss at Texas against a Longhorn team who has played their worst against the best teams in the league.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take WVU -5 at BookMaker