February 5, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take West Virginia +3 spread against Oklahoma for 3% of the bankroll.
The Mountaineers managed to win the first meeting between these teams back on January 6th, coming away with an emphatic 89-76 victory in Morgantown. Their defense did a tremendous job containing Trae Young in that contest, which as we have seen, is the key to beating this Oklahoma team. While Young did score 29 points, he was held to just 8 of 22 from the field, including 3 of 12 from three-point range. The WVU defense also created havoc around the freshman, forcing him into 8 total turnovers.
The Oklahoma Sooners have won 12 straight home games and normally in a revenge situation, we would side with the home team, laying such a modest spread, however, given the way that West Virginia has struggled recently, this is a matchup that they need badly sitting just one game behind Kansas and Texas Tech atop the conference standings. Since their first victory over OU, the Mountaineers have gone just 3-5 in their last 8 games, which makes this a do or die situation for the Mountaineers on the road. In their most recent contest, a blowout victory over Kansas State, the Mountaineers reminded everyone just how stifling and disruptive their defense can be in the 89-51 route. We expect that same mindset and performance to carry over in this contest.
As good as Oklahoma has been on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 95 points per game at home, their defense has left very little to be desired. Despite their high-powered offense, their margin of victory has just been by an average of 4 points, which shows just how vulnerable they are on the defensive side of the ball. WVU is a team that is made up of veterans and have multiple players that can step up at a moment's notice. They are head and shoulders the better defensive team on the court and this game could certainly come down to which team is able to make the most plays on defense and get stops. Trae Young is only one person and we have seen this team lose even when he goes off for 40+ points in a contest. We believe West Virginia puts in a solid defensive effort and comes away with the outright victory. Even if they fall short, they should be able to keep this game to a single possession, in which the points will likely come into play.
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