Top-Ranked Baylor An Underdog At West Virginia

Baylor Bears player

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 1:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 1:58 PM UTC

Tuesday night's college basketball betting card is chock-full of marquee matchups, including the top-ranked Baylor Bears paying No. 10 West Virginia a visit.

Whenever a new team takes over as No. 1 in the college hoops rankings, there's always the danger that squad will quickly think they've reached the pinnacle and suffer an immediate letdown. In the case of the newly-anointed No. 1 Baylor Bears, it could be doubly tough to hold the spot with a couple of tough Big 12 road games just ahead.

The first is Tuesday (7 PM ET) when the Bears travel to take on West Virginia that is having a fine season of their own at No. 10/9 in the polls, and it's the Mountaineers who are indeed favored to essentially end Baylor's joy after just one day. Bookmaker has West Virginia laying 6, and 141 is the scoreboard hurdle.

Let's not kid ourselves about what this game really means, and that is the winner is seen as Kansas' toughest Big 12 challenge. The Jayhawks are No. 2 in both rankings, their only loss so far in overtime to Indiana in the season opener. Baylor and KU are the only unbeaten in the league through three games, West Virginia a game south with one defeat.


Both Teams 0-2 ATS Last Week

Let's also not kid ourselves about how Baylor (15-0 straight up, 7-3 against the spread) wound up No. 1 in the latest polls. Had Villanova not fallen as short road chalk at Butler last week, the defending champs would still have top-ranked honors. Scott Drew's gang didn't exactly play up to their potential last week in beating Iowa State and Oklahoma State at home in much tighter games than anticipated.

Backing the Bears ended in losing wagers both times, and they had trouble offensively in the loss to the Cyclones. The best way to play the NCAA basketball odds in Baylor's Big 12 action has been to take the 'under,' a winner all three times out.

West Virginia (13-2 SU, 6-4 ATS) failed to cash for its backers as well last week, first suffering a mild upset on the road at Texas Tech before just missing a cover at home in an 82-70 win over TCU. Bob Huggins' lads held their non-conference opponents under 40% from the field, but Big 12 outfits have shot more than 47%; the Mountaineers have been turning it over more frequently, as well, though they still have the 13th-fewest in the country (10.7).


Baylor With 7-3 Advantage In Rivalry, 3-1 In Morgantown

The last time No. 1 hit the WVU Coliseum floor, almost exactly a year ago, the Mountaineers pulled off an upset. That was against Kansas last January, West Virginia getting a point and posting a 74-63 decision. The Mountaineers beat Baylor twice a year ago, first at home as 6 point chalk and then in Waco getting 3. That's two of only three wins they have in this rivalry, the other seven meetings going to the Bears, nine of those as Big 12 foes. An 'under' in Baylor last March ended a string of five consecutive 'over' winners in the series.

So, how often can you get the No. 1 team in the land and 6 points? I expected the number to be in the 3-4 range, so I'll gladly take 6 for my free college basketball pick.


Free NCAAB Pick: Baylor +6 Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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