NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas vs. West Virginia

Darin Zank

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:38 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 1:38 PM GMT

Texas is 4-0 straight-up in its last four meetings with West Virginia, and 5-0 against the spread in the last five meetings. But the Longhorns are slumping, as they head into Morgantown for a crucial game with the Mountaineers Tuesday night.

Texas Longhorns vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Betting Odds
Most of the NCAA basketball odds  board opened this game with West Virginia favored by three points, the total offered at 134. In the early betting most books bumped the Mountaineers to -4, and the total to 136.


Longhorns-Mountaineers: Background
Texas is turning into one of the more disappointing teams in college basketball this season. We thought the Longhorns had a chance to win the Big 12 this year; that ain't gonna happen. In fact, the 'Horns might not even go .500 in-conference, and might not make the NCAA Tournament.

Texas has lost two games in a row, after losing at home to Iowa State Saturday 85-77. The Longhorns shot just 41 percent from the floor, while allowing the Cyclones to shoot 46 percent, and 57 percent from 3-point range.

Last Tuesday Texas lost at Oklahoma 71-69, coughing up a seven-point lead in the last seven minutes.

At 17-10 overall, just 6-8 in Big 12 play Texas is mired in eighth place in the conference, and appears on the verge of playing itself out of the NCAA tournament field.

West Virginia has won two games in a row, after beating Oklahoma State in Stillwater Saturday 73-63, taking that game outright as a four-point underdog. The Mountaineers trailed the Cowboys by a point early in the second half, then went on a 13-2 run to take over, never allowing OSU to get closer than eight points from there.

West Virginia only shot 40 percent from the floor Saturday, but made 10 of 20 from beyond the arc and out-rebounded the Cowboys 37-20.

Eight days ago the Mountaineers tipped Big 12-leading Kansas 62-61 on a bucket with four seconds left.

At 21-6 overall, 9-5 in Big 12 play West Virginia sits in fourth place in the conference, just a game and a half behind out off first. The Mountaineers also appear headed back to the NCAA tournament, after missing it the last couple of years.


Longhorns-Mountaineers Recent History
Texas took the first meeting between these teams five weeks ago down in Austin 77-50. The 'Horns led that game by 14 at the half, then really pulled away in the second half, as West Virginia, at one point, missed 16 shots in a row.

Texas only shot 43 percent from the floor that night, but made 31 of 37 free-throws, held the Mountaineers to just 24 percent shooting and won the battle on the boards by a 44-32 margin. The Longhorns easily covered the spread as three-point favorites, and that game played UNDER its total of 136.

Last year Texas swept three games from West Virginia, by scores of 80-69, 88-71 and 66-49, covering each meeting.


By the Numbers
Texas is shooting 44 percent from the field this season, 34 percent on 3-pointers and 72 percent from the line. The Longhorns are also holding opponents to just 36 percent FG shooting, which ranks fourth-best in the nation.

West Virginia is shooting just 41 percent from the floor, 31 percent from long range and 65 percent from the line, while allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.


Longhorns-Mountaineers Betting Trends
Texas is 9-11 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Longhorns games have averaged 129 points.

West Virginia is 10-9 on the totals, as Mountaineers games have averaged 140 points.


Longhorns-Mountaineers Free Pick
Texas has lost two straight, and just isn't worthy of a college basketball pick at this point. West Virginia, meanwhile, has won two in a row, solidifying its bid for an NCAA tournament berth, but we're leery, because of some of the Mountaineers' internals. Honesty, we don't know who's going to win this game. But we do get the feeling points might be hard to come by tonight, so we like the UNDER in this spot.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: UNDER 135.5 at BetOnline

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