When and where: January 21, 2019, West Virginia University Coliseum, Morgantown, WV, 9:00 PM ET
A Big 12 Conference Clash between the Baylor Bears and West Virginia Mountaineers will kick off a week of NCAA college basketball action on Monday. The Mountaineers picked up their biggest win of the season on Saturday after knocking off No. 7 Kansas. Meanwhile, Baylor is coming off back-to-back wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
Baylor stuns Texas Tech
The Bears came into Saturday’s game against Texas Tech as underdogs, despite previously knocking off a ranked opponent in Iowa State and giving Kansas all they could handle. Yet, the team that most would argue was better on paper came away with a 73-62 loss at the Ferrell Center.
The Bears forced Texas Tech into 17 turnovers in the game. They also won the rebounding battle and competed with a better overall flow to their offense. They played solid fundamental basketball in spreading the ball around and getting good shot looks. It wasn’t their best shooting night percentage-wise, but they were able to make big shots down the stretch to ultimately ice the game.
Freshman guard Jared Butler finished the game with a team-high 19 points, five assists and three steals, while senior Makai Mason had 16 points and two assists.
West Virginia snaps losing streak
The Mountaineers put an end to their four-game losing streak in the best possible way in Saturday’s dramatic win over No. 7 Kansas. They went into the game winless in conference play and coming off a blowout loss to TCU. However, they never flinched in the face of a gargantuan challenge in the Jayhawks, and they pulled out the win in the second half after a late rally.
A game-winning layup by West Virginia guard Jeremy Haley put them ahead 65-64 with only 8.5 seconds left in the game. They would hold on and complete their biggest win of the season. After a rough stretch of games, they shot 46.3 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from 3-point land against the Jayhawks.
Haley was the only starter that finished in double-digit scoring figures with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Fortunately for the Mountaineers, they got a huge lift off the bench from Derek Culver and James Bolden, who both scored in double figures. Bolden had 12 points, two assists and four steals to Culver’s 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
- Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a winning % above .600
- Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a winning straight up record
- Mountaineers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 Monday games
- Favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 head-to-head meetings
- Bears are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games after a straight up win
- Bears are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 head-to-head meetings
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Outside of the game against TCU, the Mountaineers have played tough in each of their losses during that four-game losing streak. At least three of those losses were winnable games. So it isn’t like the Mountaineers have completely fallen off the wagon and turned into the doormat team for the Big 12 Conference.
Their confidence should be riding high after knocking off a Kansas team that could very well be a title contender later down the line. I like their chances against Baylor on their home floor, particularly with the Bears struggling offensively on the road.
The Bears are averaging 71.4 points per game this season, but that number actually dips to 69.5 points when they’re on the road. West Virginia hasn’t been great statistically on offense for most of the season, but against the Jayhawks, they proved they are capable of rising to the occasion. They also held No. 11 Texas Tech to only 62 points.
Baylor’s defense will give them plenty of problems, but they’ll be able to do enough offensively to scrape by with another close victory.
Prediction: West Virginia Mountaineers (-3)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 7-2 in the Mountaineers’ last nine games played on a Monday. There isn’t enough consistency on the offensive end to expect the Bears to blow this game wide open, but they do have the defensive capabilities to make it a long night for the Mountaineers. They are the 20th-ranked scoring defense in the country. Take the under in this game.
Prediction: Under (143)