West Virginia vs. Baylor Betting Odds

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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West Virginia vs. Baylor Betting Odds

Gambling911.com has your West Virginia vs. Baylor betting odds. 


Sportsbook.ag Line: Baylor -5.5

A marquee matchup of two top-25 Big 12 schools pits No. 19 Baylor hosting No. 20 West Virginia, as the Mountaineers look to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Bears.

Just over two weeks ago, Coach Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears picked up arguably their biggest win of the season, defeating then No. 15 West Virginia, 87-69 in Morgantown. Baylor entered the game as 6-point underdogs, but came out on fire in the first half, building a 46-30 lead at the break and cruising to a victory. The Bears shot a season-high 54.9% from the field in Morgantown on Feb. 7 and out-rebounded West Virginia by eight (43-35) led by F Rico Gathers’ (11.1 PPG, 11.9 RPG – 1st in NCAA) huge double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds. Baylor then slumped in its next two contests before rebounding to win its last three games, including going on the road (again) and knocking off a conference contender (No. 12, Iowa State) this past Wednesday, 79-70. 

West Virginia has rebounded nicely from the aforementioned beat down at home from the Bears to win four of their last five games, including a thrilling win over Big 12-leading Kansas on Feb. 16. West Virginia is 3-2 ATS in their last five games and 5-3 SU (4-3 ATS) on the road this season. West Virginia is also 7-3 SU in its last 10 games on the road. Baylor is 5-2 SU (3-3 ATS) at home in conference play this season and also 3-2 SU (2-3 ATS) in their last five games.

Oddly enough, the road team has won the past four games in this series (with Baylor winning three of those), as both teams won on each other’s home floor in 2004. (The last home win in this series was Feb 2013 with Baylor victorious.) Historically, Baylor owns this series since 2011 (when West Virginia joined the Big 12) going 5-1 SU (4-2 ATS).

West Virginia is famous for their ball-hawking, full-court pressure defense, a staple of a defense that is synonymous with Bob Huggins-coached teams (11.4 SPG, 1st in NCAA; 20.7 TO forced/game, 1st in NCAA). Their Big 12 counterparts haven’t given them quite as much of a turnover advantage, as team conference play stats “only” have the Mountaineers at 18.7 turnovers forced per game and 9.7 steals per game. Looking even deeper, the Mountaineers haven’t forced more than 19 turnovers in any of their past seven games and haven’t hit double-digit steals in their last four. This Mountaineers’ offense isn’t one built to successfully score in the half-court (39.4% FG in conf. play, 9th Big in 12, 320th in NCAA; 31% 3PT, 8th in Big 12, 290th in NCAA), meaning they’ll have to stop Baylor from shooting 55% from the field (as they did in Morgantown) and successfully pressure the ball (they did get 19 turnovers in the first meeting) in order to have a chance versus the methodical Bears’ offense.

G Juwan Staten (14.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 42% FG) leads the way for West Virginia. While still leading the team in scoring, Staten hasn’t been nearly the offensive dynamo he was in his junior season when he averaged 18 points, just under six assists, and shot 48% from the field. This can be somewhat attributed to the fact that Staten plays six minutes less per game, due to the plethora of backcourt depth Huggins has at his disposal.

After Staten, the only double-figure scorer on West Virginia is their own bruising dynamo on the boards, F Devin Williams (11 PPG, 8.2. RPG) will match muscle with Baylor’s Gathers for every bounce off the rim. Not to be upstaged individually by Gathers, Williams had 20 points and 15 rebounds in West Virginia’s defeat to Baylor earlier this month. For someone who doesn’t take any threes, Williams struggles to finish from the field, shooting only 43%.

Coach Huggins deploys eight more players on his deep team, always calling on fresh legs to deliver anywhere from 12 to 23 minutes per night. Between players like G Jevon Carter (8.2 PPG, 1.7 threes/game), G Gary Browne (7.3 PPG), F Jonathon Holton (7.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG), G Daxter Miles Jr. (6.2 PPG; 12 points, five steals versus Texas last game), someone always steps up in a complementary role when West Virginia wins. You just never know who that player may be.

Baylor’s offense is the perfect antidote to West Virginia’s defensive pressure. The Bears play at a slow crawl (63.1 possessions per-game, 264th in NCAA) and take decent enough care of the ball for it not to become an issue (1.11 A/T ratio, 3rd in Big 12, 117th in NCAA). A big number for Baylor in this matchup will be 66.4, as that’s their percentage from the line this season (only good for 266th in the country), because West Virginia fouls as much as anyone around (23.2 FPG, 3rd in NCAA). Baylor went a respectable 25-35 (71.4%) from the stripe in their win over West Virginia earlier this season, and will probably get similar opportunities, especially in their own gym this time around.

Baylor’s leading scorer is their sixth man, F Taurean Prince (13.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG). Prince has a 13 game double-figures streak going (points-wise) and is averaging 17.5 points per game in his last six games, while filling up the rest of the box score (48% FG, 2.1 threes/game, 2.2 SPG, 1.2 BPG) in that span as well. The opposite of West Virginia’s Staten, Prince has more than doubled his scoring average from 2014 and is one of the most improved players in the nation, now that he’s gotten his chance to shine (playing nine more MPG in 2015).

The nation’s leading rebounder, the aforementioned Gathers, is a rock inside for the Bears. Gathers’ rebounding hasn’t been so gaudy as of late (only 31 rebounds in his last four games), but when playing in Waco, Gathers has only failed to hit double-figures on the glass in one game this season.

Steady G Kenny Chery (11.5 PPG, 4.0 APG) runs the point for Baylor and will have to navigate West Virginia’s press a bit better than he did earlier this season (four assists and four turnovers), that is, unless Chery gets ball handling help as he did from do-everything F Royce O’Neale (9.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.4) in the first meeting, when O’Neale filled the box score with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and only two turnovers in Morgantown. 

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