NCAA Basketball Picks: West Virginia vs. Kansas State

Jeff Grant

Monday, February 18, 2013 1:08 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 1:08 PM UTC

The West Virginia Mountaineers have won four of their five games in February, but none of those victories have come against an opponent like the Kansas State Wildcats.

Let’s take a closer look at this Big 12 Conference matchup from a betting perspective, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Turning things around?

West Virginia is seemingly turning things around, as it comes off a 66-64 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders as 13.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the third time in four contests.

The Mountaineers are 4-1 in their last five games, but beating the Red Raiders (twice), TCU Horned Frogs and Texas Longhorns in that stretch isn’t very impressive. The program is 4-10 straight up and 5-9 against the spread (ATS) versus winning teams during the 2012-13 campaign.

Three-way tie atop the conference 

Kansas State is tied atop the Big 12 Conference standings with Kansas and Oklahoma State, as it picked up a convincing 81-61 win over the Baylor Bears as 4.5-point home favorites last time out, while going OVER the total for a third consecutive contest.

All three of the Wildcats’ losses this year have come versus a quality opponent, including an 83-62 setback to the Kansas Jayhawks as 7.5-point road underdogs Feb. 11—an opponent that was looking to snap a three-game losing streak. 

Missing the mark with revenge

The Mountaineers are 1-7 ATS when revenging a same season loss versus an opponent over the last two-plus seasons, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks Monday night. West Virginia has missed the mark in both opportunities in that situation this year.

February boom

The Wildcats have tallied a school-record seven consecutive 20-win seasons, with a lot of that success coming in the second month of a calendar year, as they’ve gone 29-7 in February the last five seasons. 

On the other side of the court in this matchup, the Mountaineers are 11-9 in that situation the last two-plus seasons, including a 7-13 ATS mark in that situation.



I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wildcats as one of their sports picks tonight, as they may be undervalued in this spot, especially with the Mountaineers seemingly turning things around. Kansas State will improve to 6-1 ATS in its last seven games at Bramlage Coliseum.

College Basketball Pick: Kansas State Wildcats -10.5 at Bookmaker

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