NCAA Basketball Picks: Underrated West Virginia To Pull Upset Over #1 Kansas

Charles Stark

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:24 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 12:24 PM UTC

The #1 team in the country, Kansas, is laying one point only in their matchup against West Virginia for a reason. Will we be looking at an upset tonight? Find out our NCAA basketball pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: West Virginia  +2
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds boards have West Virgina as a +1 underdog like at Bookmaker -110. So what we have is basically a pick with the number one team versus the number 17 ranked team in the country. For one of my college basketball picks on Tuesday, I will back Bob Huggins and West Virginia who have had some good success against Kansas at home the past couple of years.


Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas is averaging 85.9 points per game on 48.9% shooting from the field, and allowing 67 points per game on 39.9% shooting from the field. Against the spread they have been solid going 10-3 on the season and 6-1 away, but they have lost their last two trips to Morgantown. Offensively, Bill Self has one of the best scoring teams in the country and they can do it from the inside out. The Jayhawks rank 11th in shooting efficiency and 20th in shooting percentage, but where they really thrive is beyond the arc shooting 45.3% from distance which ranks third in the country, remember that statistic. Defensively, they are good but susceptible in some areas allowing almost 34% from beyond the arc, not bad but not great either. The good news for them is that West Virginia doesn't shoot the three particularly well, but what does not bode well, and is pretty natural, is the fact that most of their defensive statistics go down on the road. The Jayhawks do move the ball, and rebound well but they are facing a tough matchup against a Mountaineer team that limits both of these aspects from opponents.


West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia is averaging 86 points per game while shooting 47.8% from the field, and allowing 63.4 points per game on 41.7% shooting from the field. Like Kansas, they have a winning record against the spread at 7-5 on the season while being 3-1 at home. Offensively, they are pretty efficient team, moving the ball well with 17.1 assist per game and doing most of their damage inside the perimeter averaging 55.1% on their two point shooting. As mentioned above, they are not a very good three-point shooting team at just 31.5% on the season, but that average goes up at home to just under 34%. Defensively, I think they're going to give Kansas some real trouble tonight because their strengths on defense matchup well with the Jayhawks strengths on offense. While Kansas may be one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, West Virginia allows only 25.4% shooting from beyond the arc which ranks second in the country, and that percentage gets even worse for opponents in Morgantown. As well, West Virginia limits ball movement allowing only 9.5 assists per game which ranks fourth in the country, and they limit opponent rebounds to just 29.5 per game which ranks fifth in the country.

Back to the line, there is a reason why the number one team in the country in Kansas is only favored by one in this spot. They have not had a lot of success in West Virginia losing two out of the last three years they have visited Morgantown. Tonight they face a stiff defensive challenge from the Mountaineers who are one of the most underrated teams in the country. For one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend backing West Virginia to pull the upset.

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