West Virginia's Poor Perimeter Shooting Gives TCU Wagering Edge

Mark Lathrop

Monday, February 12, 2018 1:14 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 1:14 PM UTC

In a prime-time Big 12 matchup, the West Virginia Mountaineers sit in a revenge spot as they host the TCU Horned Frogs. Read up as our NCAAB handicapper Mark Lathrop breaks down the best wagering angle for this game. 

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 31-24 (+5.45 Units)

TCU Horned Frogs at West Virginia MountaineersFree NCAAB Pick: Under 158.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The TCU Horned Frogs travel to Morgantown, W. Va., to face the Mountaineers in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 Monday at 9 p.m. ET. This will be a chance for West Virginia to avenge a road upset as TCU beat it 82-73 back on Jan. 22 as a 2-point underdog. Both teams have been ranked in the AP Top 10 at some point this season, with West Virginia still ranked in the top 25. TCU has dropped out of the AP poll, but a season sweep of West Virginia will get voters' attention once more. The Mountaineers' home-court advantage is implied at 4 points for this game, as West Virginia has been placed as a 6-point home favorite. The O/U total has been posted at 158.5 at 5Dimes as of Sunday evening.

After a blistering 15-1 start that included an impressive win over Virginia, the Mountaineers have gone 3-6 SU over their last 9 games to fall to 18-7 and 7-5 in conference play. TCU also started hot by going 12-0 in the non-conference schedule, but conference play has them reeling a bit as they are just 5-7 in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs have been competitive, however, with just one double-digit loss in conference on the year and three games going into overtime.

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🏀 Monday
⏰ 8 PM
🆚 West Virginia
📍 WVU Coliseum
📜 https://t.co/bz48tLJ4ke #GoFrogs 😈 #UpTheFunk pic.twitter.com/pqkdzpTgDV

— TCU Basketball (@TCUBasketball) February 11, 2018

The first game between these two teams in Fort Worth was a dominant performance by TCU. It led by 20 points with 5 minutes to go in the game until a flurry of scramble points by West Virginia tightened up the final score. A total of 61 points were scored in the game’s final 10 minutes with West Virginia having five players scoring in double figures and TCU with four. Both teams will play high tempo if given the chance, and TCU has one of the most efficient offenses in the country. TCU’s problem is defense, especially on the perimeter where it allows conference opponents to shoot 42.9% from beyond the arc.

West Virginia only has one long range shooter that can take advantage of TCU’s 3-point defense though: 6’ 0” sophomore guard James Bolden, who shoots 44.3% from 3-point range. No other Mountaineer shoots over 40% from beyond the arc. It was a major issue in the last matchup between these teams as West Virginia went just 7-for-27 (25.9%) from beyond the arc. Those opportunities will be there again, but the Mountaineers are not built to take advantage of them.

With the Mountaineers playing at home in a revenge spot, I’m expecting their defense to be prepared for TCU. The Frogs have a tough travel schedule following a Saturday night game at home vs. Texas, while West Virginia has had the weekend to stew over their loss to Oklahoma State at home. Combine that with the last game sitting at 116 points with five minutes remaining, and I believe we have a good edge to make a wager 'Under' the total currently sitting at 158.5.

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