The WVU Mountaineers men’s basketball team is looking sharp lately. They’ve won seven straight outings and are looking to make it eight on Wednesday night.
WVU basketball faces Youngstown State at home in Morgantown.
According to West Virginia sportsbooks, the Mountaineers are favored to win by a sizable margin in their last tilt before the holiday break. They show the home side laying around -15 in the point spread.
Despite the 10-1 overall record, WVU remains unranked in the polls. It is fairly close to cracking the AP Top 25, though. The Mountaineers find themselves just outside, as the team with the second-most votes with 57, right behind Oklahoma.
Perhaps a win this week and some luck in front of them will get coach Bob Huggins’ team back in the rankings.
Although YSU isn’t a college basketball powerhouse by any means, it features a 7-3 record, including five wins in a row.
WVU will need to play more quality basketball to get to 11-1.
Mountaineers Defeat UAB
WVU recorded its 10th victory of the young season on the road Saturday against UAB. Even though it was about a four-point underdog at books, WVU prevailed thanks to a strong second half.
After scoring just 26 points in the opening 20 minutes, the Mountaineers took control down the stretch.
At around the seven-minute mark, they started getting stops and turning them into points on the other end of the floor. They took the lead with about three minutes left and never relinquished it.
The 65-59 final was a great result for the team and backers at WV online sportsbooks. WVU was receiving around +3.5 in the spread.
Overall, the team shot over 44% from the field and was once again led by the combo of Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil. They combined for 29 points, although neither shot particularly well.
A total of 10 Mountaineers scored in this one, with senior Kedrian Johnson next on the squad at nine points.
The Mountaineers didn’t play their best game of the year, but they did enough to earn the W. They also outrebounded their opponent for the second straight time, an area they typically struggle in.
It wasn’t the flashiest victory; however, it was an important one. WVU played in several neutral-site contests, but this was its first true road test. The game was against a side in UAB that was previously 7-0 on its home court, too.
This win won’t get the Mountaineers into the tournament by any means, but it could build some momentum.
WVU Basketball Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Now they return home and have their attention on Youngstown State. The Penguins currently hold a 7-3 record in the season but are trending in the right direction.
Many won’t recognize a lot of the schools on their schedule, but they did open the year with a tilt at Penn State. YSU lost by 15 in that one.
It appears to be playing better basketball at the moment, though, and has been scoring plenty of points in its last few. The Penguins are averaging 78 points per game during their existing winning streak.
Youngstown is led by senior forward Michael Akuchie. He’s putting up over 13 points and seven boards a night. Guard Tevin Olison also contributes a lot in the scoring department, averaging just shy of 13 points.
Like most capable teams, it has several others on the roster who can get on the scoreboard. Youngstown rolls out three additional guards who all average around 10 points per game.
On the other side of things, WVU is doing a great job of limiting lots of its opponents. It has only surrendered more than 60 points three times in 2021.
At the moment, DraftKings WV lists the Mountaineers giving -16 in the spread, with a moneyline of -1375. Youngstown State is receiving the points and is shown at +800 to win the game outright.
The online sportsbook has the total for this one set at 131.5 points.
Following their slow start in the last contest, it’s possible the Mountaineers will come out ready to play on Wednesday. DraftKings’ spread for the opening half is WVU -10, while its moneyline is -475. The Penguins are offered at +350 to take a lead into halftime.
First-half bets are sometimes tricky, but there could be some value here considering how massive the odds are for the full game.
A win would get WVU to 11-1 before traveling to Austin to take on Texas on New Year’s Day.