The WVU men’s basketball team’s schedule over the next two weeks looks about as daunting as possible. The “murderer’s row” of games starts this Saturday, as the 23rd-ranked Kansas Jayhawks look to complete the Mountaineers basketball sweep.
West Virginia online sportsbooks like WVU’s chances to split the season series with Kansas, though. How the Mountaineers fare in this contest will have a serious impact on the odds for the remainder of February’s games.
Here are the odds for WV vs. Kansas:
Breaking down the Mountaineers’ odds vs. Kansas
The home game against the Jayhawks, currently slated to tip off at 2 p.m. EST on CBS, has WVU as a near-consensus 3-point favorite. The total for the game sits around 141 points, depending on which WV sportsbook you’re looking at.
The first meeting between these teams, a 79-65 Kansas win in Lawrence on Dec. 22, produced some numbers that are pretty typical for both teams this season. The Jayhawks slightly outshot the Mountaineers (44.4% to 41.3%), while the rebound and turnover struggles were about even.
For the season so far, Kansas is slightly outshooting WVU, 44% to 42.5%. While the Mountaineers do have slightly better averages in rebounds (39.6-37.9) and turnovers (12.1-12.3), the big difference maker is the Jayhawks’ defense.
In December, Kansas held WVU to just 29 points in the second half. This is in keeping with a larger trend in the series between these two Big 12 opponents, as the Jayhawks have won the second half in all of their past four games against West Virginia.
For the season, KU averages allowing 13 fewer points per game than the Mountaineers. However, the venue of this game is worth taking into consideration, as WVU has performed better in Morgantown. In fact, the home team has won all of Kansas’ last four games.
Outside of an early-season loss to No. 1 Gonzaga and a “trap game” upset by Florida last week, the Mountaineers have met every challenge they’ve faced at home this season. If they can continue to do that, it should improve their odds going forward.
College basketball odds in WV this weekend
Here is the full slate of games:
How this game will affect the next two weeks
Saturday’s tilt starts a gauntlet of games against ranked opponents for WVU. Their next five games are:
- Feb. 9 at No. 13 Texas Tech
- Feb. 13 vs. No. 9 Oklahoma
- Feb. 15 vs. No. 2 Baylor
- Feb. 18 at No. 2 Baylor
- Feb. 20 at No. 6 Texas
Downing Kansas on Saturday should get oddsmakers to look kindly upon the Mountaineers for Tuesday, as WVU already defeated the Red Raiders this season. Stringing two top-25 wins together — one on the road — will have a positive impact on the odds for the game against the Sooners and so on.
However, WVU is undoubtedly taking this stretch of games one at a time. Bettors should just be prepared to pay more for a Mountaineers win if they’re successful against Kansas on Saturday.