NCAA Basketball Picks - West Virginia Should Keep It Close With Cavs

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, December 3, 2016 4:26 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 4:26 PM UTC

Our college basketball handicapper is perfect on the young season so far. Read on as he provides a betting preview for West Virginia vs. Virginia showdown concluding with a NCAA basketball picks.

2015-16  NCAAB  Record: 5-0, +5.00 Units 


West Virginia Mountaineers vs Virginia Cavaliers  

The high flying 5-1 West Virginia Mountaineers are about to hit the brakes as they match up with one of the best defenses in the country in the 7-0 Virginia Cavaliers. In what could be one of the biggest clashes of styles in recent memory, books have installed the Cavaliers as 8-point home favorites in this matchup. The very early O/U total has opened at 131.5 at BookMaker.

West Virginia is looking to avenge last year’s loss, a 70-54 win for Virginia in a game played at Madison Square Garden. West Virginia actually won the 1st half in that game and led 36-30 at the half, but got spanked in the 2nd half by 22 points to take the loss. Both leading scorers for the Mountaineers in that game have graduated and will not be playing tonight. The leading scorer for West Virginia this year, 6’ 9” senior forward, Nathan Adrian, played 13 minutes in the game and scored 2 points on one attempt. It will be a new experience for many of the starters for West Virginia to play on Virginia’s home court.

Virginia will try to beat West Virginia’s game-long strategy of full court press by going to a 4-guard lineup, a tactic that has helped them earlier this year in similar situations. They come into this game after barely skirting by Ohio State 63-61 as a 12-point road favorite. The Cavaliers got down big early in that game and trailed 36-24 at halftime, but held Ohio State to just 25 points in the second half while scoring 39 of their own. The senior guard, London Perrantes, was the hero of the game for Virginia, scoring 19 points over 33 minutes of play. 8 players saw more than ten minutes of action in the game, a fact that is not unusual for a deep Virginia team.

The only deeper team than Virginia in the country might be West Virginia though, as they have 11 players averaging more than 10 points per game on the year. That is required of them to play at the high tempo that they do for an entire game. How high? West Virginia average 72 attempts per game on the year as compared to Virginia’s 54. Virginia allows only 44.1 points a game versus West Virginia’s 94.7 points scored. Something has got to give.

This will be the first time that West Virginia will be an underdog on the year, even though they have played stiffer competition overall than Virginia this season. The first half of last year’s game proves to me that they can force Virginia into a different style of game. That’s enough for me to think they can hang with Virginia on their home court, so I am taking West Virginia and 8 points at 5Dimes as another Saturday college basketball pick.


Free NCAAB Pick: West Virginia +8Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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