NCAA Basketball Picks West Virginia vs. Baylor

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 2:36 PM GMT

The Baylor Bears and West Virginia Mountaineers are both desperate for a win Tuesday night, as the two teams prepare to meet at the Ferrell Center. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big 12 Conference matchup, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

It all starts on the defensive end

West Virginia is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS over its last five games, as it attempts to bounce back from a 81-75 setback to the Oklahoma State Cowboys as 13.5-point road underdogs last Saturday.

The Mountaineers have won all eight of their games when allowing 69 or fewer points this season, but they’ve surrendered an average of 77.9 points on the road during the 2013-14 campaign.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 4-27 SU and 12-17-2 ATS as underdogs in the NCAA basketball odds, with no clear edge in terms of the total (14-14 Over/Under).

Going in the wrong direction

Baylor has virtually hit rock bottom in dropping its last four games, including a 74-60 defeat to the Texas Longhorns as 5.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 144.5.

The Bears have won the previous three meetings in this series, including a 80-60 victory as eight-point home favorites on Feb. 13 of last season.

College basketball handicappers will find that the squad is 6-2 SU and 4-3 ATS after scoring 60 or fewer points since the 2011-12 campaign.

Quite a backcourt

The Mountaineers are dangerous road underdogs due to their backcourt of Eron Harris and Juwan Staten, as they rank second and third respectively in terms of scoring in the Big 12.

West Virginia will need a major performance from the duo to earn a victory in this spot, as it has compiled a 1-3 SUATS record as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

Points in the paint

The Bears have won 11 of 13 games when recording more points in the paint than their opponents—a statistical category that they should win in this matchup due to the Mountaineers being a perimeter-oriented club.

Baylor has nine players averaging 12-plus minutes per game, which has led to the bench scoring 30.4 points a contest.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the UNDER is 3-0-1 in the Bears’ last four games following a double-digit home loss.

Pick: Under 140.5

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