According to the old adage, the third time is supposed to be the charm. The Baylor Bears and West Virginia Mountaineers are having to stretch that to a fourth attempt as they prepare to play a suppertime matchup in Tuesday’s NCAA basketball odds schedule.
Baylor Bears vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Tuesday, March 02, 2021 – 05:00 PM EST at WVU Coliseum
Three previous matchups between Baylor and West Virginia were postponed or cancelled outright due to virus issues with the Bears. Baylor is coming off its first loss of the season following an 18-0 start, and the defeat pushed the Bears back one slot to No. 3 in the AP though they still have a 1½-game lead in the Big 12 race. The Mountaineers moved up four spots to No. 6 in the poll, with West Virginia percentage points ahead of Kansas for the second seed in the conference tournament.
Loss at KU Halts Six-Game ‘Over’ Run for BU
You’ll need to punch the clock a little early to get to the pub or your living room as the contest is set for a 5 o’clock tip on ESPN. Overnight numbers at online sportsbooks have the Bears favored by 3 with 149 for the scoreboard target.
Baylor’s school-record 18-game win streak was halted this past weekend in Lawrence where Kansas rolled to a 71-58 decision to earn a split in the season series. It was just the second game for the Bears following an extended stretch of nearly three weeks sitting idle, and the layoff was evident early when they managed to score just 4 points in the first 6½ minutes. The Jayhawks were favored by 4½, and completely dominated Baylor on the glass by a 20-rebound margin while outscoring the Bears 18-6 at the charity stripe.
Scott Drew launched into a ‘woe is me’ soliloquy after the loss, bemoaning his team’s issues with play stoppage due to the pandemic. "Even Superman has kryptonite and I guess COVID protocols are ours," Drew told reporters following the setback to the Jayhawks. That certainly could have been behind the Bears connecting on just 6-of-26 from 3-point range, one of their worst performances of the season though they still lead the nation hitting better than 42% from behind the arc.
Mountaineers Have Covered Five of Last Six
Bob Huggins’ crew has rebounded nicely since dropping a heartbreaker to Oklahoma in overtime a couple of weeks back. The Mountaineers have reeled off three successive wins, collecting on the sports betting front in each dubya. They had a run of seven successive ‘overs’ from late-January until last week when both triumphs stopped short of the totals.
West Virginia’s first win a week ago came on the road in Ft. Worth where the Mountaineers took the lead for good five minutes in, and eventually left town with a 74-68 decision. They never trailed in the follow-up contest at home in Morgantown, closing with a strong second half for a 65-43 skate past Kansas State. The Mountaineers held the Wildcats scoreless for a 6+ minute stretch in the second half, going on a 17-0 run in that span to put the game out of reach. Free throws have been something of an issue all season, but West Virginia sank 15-of-17 against Kansas State.
‘Over’ Cashes Three of Last Four in Morgantown
Baylor and West Virginia were originally supposed to play in mid-January, and again a month later before both were waved off. Another meeting was set for last week but the Big 12 called that one off to keep the Bears from having to play six games over the final two weeks of the regular season. The two split their meetings a year ago, winning and covering chalk lines on their home floors.
The matchup at WVU Coliseum a season ago ended in a 76-64 victory for the unranked Mountaineers over then-No. 4 Baylor. It was the regular season finale for both teams, and the final contest either played before COVID-19 shut things down. West Virginia was favored by a bucket, and the final got past the total with nearly 10 points to spare.
Baylor has endured a stop-&-start schedule all season, and there’s no question that led to the Bears being a little rusty their last two times out. Maybe all of the rust has been knocked off now, but I’ll be more than happy to take the points on the Mountaineers at home with my college basketball pick in a contest that seems destined to go down to the final possession.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.