West Virginia over Texas for Big 12 NCAAB Picks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, March 13, 2014 11:49 AM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 11:49 AM GMT

The West Virginia Mountaineers need to string together some victories in hopes of landing in the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, as they prepare to take on the Texas Longhorns Thursday. Where does the best value lie for our college basketball picks?

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Big 12 Championship quarterfinal matchup at the Sprint Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

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Inconsistent 

West Virginia has been inconsistent all season long, which is clearly demonstrated in alternating wins and losses over its last four regular-season games, but coming away with a 92-86 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks as five-point home underdogs last Saturday.

The Mountaineers will likely need to make a run into the championship game in hopes of landing a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, which is certainly possible due to Bob Huggins’ 38-15 SU record in conference tournaments as a head coach.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 3-7 SUATS in March, with the OVER going 5-4-1 in that situation.

Lack of motivation

Texas has also fallen into a pattern of not being able to string victories together, as it looks to bounce back from a 59-53 setback to the Texas Tech Red Raiders as 1.5-point road favorites last Saturday.

The Longhorns are in good position to go dancing next week, which could lead to a unmotivated locker room in facing a foe it beat with relative ease twice during the regular season.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 4-9 SU and 5-7-1 ATS in all tournament games since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

Staten his case

Mountaineers point guard Juwan Staten is one of the best players in the country, as he’s scored 14 or more points in 23 consecutive games.

Staten will need to create some easy scoring opportunities inside for his teammates, as West Virginia is 17-5 SU when scoring 20-plus points in the paint and 0-9 when failing to  hit that number.

Plenty of depth

The Longhorns are 11-3 SU in the quarterfinals of this event under longtime head coach Rick Barnes, while they possess plenty of depth on the roster to potentially cut down the nets this upcoming weekend.

Texas has four of five probable starters averaging in double figures, with junior forward Jonathan Holmes leading the way at 13.0 points per contest.  

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mountaineers as one of their college basketball picks, as the underdog has covered the number in five of the last six meetings in this series.

College Basketball Pick: West Virginia Mountaineers +3

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