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The #14 Kansas Jayhawks will host the struggling West Virginia Mountaineers in Big 12 action Saturday afternoon from the Allen Fieldhouse. The Mountaineers dropped a 75-53 home decision to Texas in their previous contest, and the Jayhawks tallied a 82-77 overtime road win against TCU on Monday night. West Virginia recorded a 65-64 home win over Kansas in the first meeting last month.
West Virginia Continues to Struggle
The West Virginia Mountaineers’ disastrous season continues. Esa Ahmad (12 PPG) and Wesley Harris (7.9 PPG) were dismissed from the team this week, and WVU stands in last place in the Big 12 with a 2-9 conference record. WVU is coming off a rough 75-53 home loss to Texas in their previous contest. The Mountaineers shot a weak 35% from the field, while Texas was able to sink 45% of their field goals. Derek Culver went 2 for 6 from the field for seven points and 11 rebounds in the defeat. The freshman forward has been a bright spot as of late, recording two double-doubles in his last three games, and he is averaging 11.7 PPG and 8.7 RPG.
Lamont West is struggling, scoring only a combined seven points over his last three games. The junior forward is averaging 9.8 PPG on the season. WVU is also playing without leading scorer Sagaba Konate who is out indefinitely with a knee injury, and James Bolden is questionable for this one.
Forward Derek Culver has been a bright spot on the Mountaineer basketball program this year. He's certainly a guy West Virginia can build around for the future. Hear his story in this week's Life as a Mountaineer, presented by @PanhandleCR. pic.twitter.com/he6cLmaAzA
— WVU Basketball (@WVUhoops) February 13, 2019
The Mountaineers are placed at 119th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, and they own an 0-6 record on the road this season. West Virginia is scoring an average of 72.2 points, ranking them 198th in the country. WVU is struggling defensively, and they are conceding an average of 75.3 points, positioning them 271st in the country.
Jayhawks Aim for Third Straight Victory
The #14 Kansas Jayhawks will be targeting their third consecutive victory in this contest. The Jayhawks persevered for an 82-77 overtime road win against TCU in their latest action on Monday night to extend their winning streak to two games. Kansas only posted a 41% mark from the field, although they limited TCU to a 38% shooting performance. Devon Dotson came up big in the winning effort, registering 25 points along with 10 rebounds. The freshman guard is on a roll, scoring at least 18 points in three out of his last four games, and he is now averaging 12 PPG on 49% shooting.
Jayhawks’ top scorer Dedric Lawson also recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in Monday’s victory. The junior forward has notched seven double-doubles in conference play, and he is posting 19.4 PPG and 10.6 RPG on the season.
They knew it'd be a fight and fight they did.
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) February 12, 2019
Kansas stands at 8-4 in Big 12 play, placing them in second place, 1.5 games back of first place Kansas State. The Jayhawks are projected as a #3 seed in ESPN’s Bracketology. They feature a 13-0 home record. Kansas is currently averaging 76.9 points, good for 82nd in the country. The Jayhawks are allowing an average of 70.5 points, positioning them 157th overall.
The West Virginia Mountaineers are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 Saturday games.
The Kansas Jayhawks are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against West Virginia.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games overall against a team with a losing record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I expect a convincing home win from Kansas. West Virginia is in shambles. They have dropped five out of their last six games, and Esa Ahmad (12 PPG) has been dismissed from the team, plus leading scorer Sagaba Konate (13.6 PPG) remains out of the lineup due to injury. The Mountaineers’ defense has been awful in conference play, and they have surrendered over 80 points in six out of their last nine games.
Furthermore, Kansas is back on track with two straight wins, and they will want to return the favor after falling to West Virginia in the first meeting.
Prediction: Kansas Jayhawks
Full-Game Total Pick
I am opting with the over in this one. Kansas has seen the over convert in four consecutive games due to their high-powered offense. They have averaged 78 points in their last four games, and the over is 19-7 in their last 26 games following an ATS win.
In addition, West Virginia’s defense has been a glaring weakness. Their field goal defense ranks down at 220th in the country, and their defense has especially struggled on the road. The over has converted in six of the last eight meetings between these two teams, and I expect it to cash again in this one.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the West Virginia team total is a strong option. West Virginia is missing several key players. As mentioned leading scorer Sagaba Konate is out, and Esa Ahmad and Wesley Harris are no longer with the team. WVU has only scored 50 and 53 points respectively in their last two games, and they will struggle offensively in this one.
Prediction: West Virginia Team Total: Under
Half-Time Side Pick
I am staying with Kansas on the halftime line. The Mountaineers have only averaged 27.3 points in the first half in their last three games, while Kansas is posting an average of 35.8 points in the opening half on the season. Also, West Virginia’s first half defense stand down at 213th in the country with an average of 34.2 points against.