Place NCAAB Picks on Road Favorite in WVU vs. Texas Tech

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 5, 2015 4:08 PM GMT

West Virginia expects to welcome back its star player to the floor Monday night, which makes it a top NCAA Basketball pick against Texas Tech in Big 12 play.

Character Building

West Virginia earned a hard-fought 78-67 victory over TCU as one-point road favorites last weekend, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds, as it played without the services of Juwan Staten.

 

The Mountaineers leading scorer is listed as probable to return to the lineup after dealing with a minor illness—averaging 16.1 points and 3.2 rebounds a contest.

 

Staten’s the main player to handicap in this conference matchup, as he scored 25 points in a 89-86 overtime victory over the Red Raiders as two-point road favorites last year.

 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 7-10 SU and 11-6 ATS in January, with the OVER going 10-5 in that situation.

 

Solid Start

Texas Tech has started the season 10-4 for the 23rd time in its 90-year history, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks, as it looks to improve to 11-1 SU when playing at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock.  

 

The Red Raiders have been sending out the sixth youngest starting lineup in the country under second year head coach Tubby Smith, with junior Devaugntah Williams leading the way in averaging 11.0 points per game.

 

It’s important to point out that Smith’s youthful roster has held 12 of 14 opponents under 70 points in the early going.

 

Sports bettors will find that the school is 10-30 SU and 18-22 ATS versus conference opponents dating back to the 2012-13 season.

 

Forcing the Action

The Mountaineers lead the nation in posting a +10.4 turnover margin, which has played a major part in averaging 26.0 points per game off of opponent miscues.

 

West Virginia is also extremely active on the offensive glass—winning that particular battle by a 257-119 margin in producing a 13-1 SU and 8-4 ATS mark through 14 games.

 

Charity Work

The Red Raiders must get to the free throw line in order to pull off a SU home underdog victory, which is certainly possible due to the fact that 26.9 percent of its offense comes at the charity stripe.

 

Texas Tech has plenty of players to send out on the floor in ranking ninth in the country in bench minutes—something that could prove problematic for West Virginia’s defense that allows 23.5 percent of its points by sending teams to the line.

 

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mountaineers as one of their basketball selections, as the Red Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games versus teams with a winning road record.

 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  West Virginia Mountaineers -5.5 at 5Dimes