Outkick Bets: Betting Baylor/West Virginia

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The Big 12 is loaded with top tier talent and teams and it seems like at least four times a week we get to see a deep-tournament type matchup. Tonight, Baylor and West Virginia is no different. Morgantown awaits a recently slumping Bears squad and the formerly No. 1 team is currently a 6.5-point favorite. Let’s take a gander.

Slumping may be a slightly extreme description for Baylor but they have lost two games in a row and they haven’t lost three straight since March of 2019. If they want to get back on track, ball security will be a huge deal. West Virginia is 21st in the country in turnovers forced per game (17.12) and that has been a staple of Bob Huggins led teams. It better be because the Mountaineers are a small disaster offensively. They rank 253rd in points per game, 252nd in field goal percentage, 286th in 3-point percentage and 300th in free throw percentage. How can you be 300th in free throws? No one is guarding you!

Baylor has been a supremely efficient offense throughout the vast majority of the season (averaging 79.9 points per) but we can’t sleep on that Bears defense either. Baylor is 20th is points allowed per game and allowing teams to make less than 30% of their three-pointers. You can see why the sportsbooks tend to like Baylor by such a strong number but I do worry.

James Akinjo, the fantastic point guard for Baylor, is a game-time decision. If he doesn’t play, his 14 points per game will be greatly missed. Even if he’s played, he might be in the midst of a slump that should concern us. He’s only scored 20 points combined in the past two games on 2-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc. He scored 47 in the two games prior. Also a game-time decision is Jeremy Sochan. His eight points and six rebounds would be nice considering he hasn’t played in ten days and the Bears have suffered.

This is all making me nervous for the spread. I’ve been teasing you this entire time that I like the under and I am here for it full-throated now: UNDER 138.5. West Virginia has scored 71+ points TWICE against multi-bid league teams. West Virginia has to continue that trend to have a chance. Both teams will hammer each other. Let’s grab this under.

Written by Arky Shea

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