February 13, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take Kansas -5 spread (buy half a point) against West Virginia for 3% of the bankroll.
The Kansas Jayhawks attempt to exact revenge tonight when they face off against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Allen Fieldhouse! Kansas visited Morgantown three weeks ago, and played arguably its worst defensive game of the season in an 85-69 loss to West Virginia. The Mountaineers shot 48 percent from the field and ran away in the second half as the Jayhawks struggled to keep up. You can bet that the Jayhawks will be looking to even the score and will ultimately need to if they want to have any chance to regain the Big 12 regular season title once again this year. A loss here and the Mountaineers would pull within a single game of the Jayhawks for the conference lead.
Coach Bill Self’s team has won four its five games since that defeat, however this stretch hasn’t exactly been pretty. Kansas followed up huge wins over Kentucky and Baylor with an overtime loss to Iowa State that snapped its 54-game home winning streak. If you follow college basketball, a Kansas loss on their home court is a rare feat in a season. We don't believe they will allow a second one to happen in the same season. The Mountaineers have also lost in Lawrence in each of the last 4 years since going the Big 12.
A big issue for the Jayhawks has been their ability to keep their foot on the gas for a full 40 minutes. They have developed a bad habit of letting up in the second half which has been the major reason for playing in closely contested games that should have arguably have been much 'easier' wins. They were outscored by 17 in the second half and overtime in the loss to Iowa State, couldn’t pull away from Kansas State and got outscored by six over the final 20 minutes against Texas Tech. We expect them to have a much more focused outlook for this revenge matchup and wouldn't be surprised to see them try to run West Virginia out of the gym early in the game.
West Virginia plays an extremely aggressive style of defense, but we have seen teams have great success once they have been able to break the press and get out on the floor and run. The key to Kansas will be to try to avoid the full-court pressure and get behind the defense. They didn't have much success in the first meeting, but with Self being the veteran coach that he is, we expect him to come up with a much more inventive game plan for tonight's matchup. West Virginia will likely hang with the Jayhawks in the early going, but once the Kansas players are able to settle in against this defense, we expect them to have success, defend their homecourt and come away with a big win and cover.
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