If it feels like we just did this a few days ago, that’s because we did. WVU vs. TCU on Thursday is a makeup game, giving the Mountaineers men’s basketball team another home game before the 2020-21 regular season concludes.
The odds on West Virginia sports betting apps, like DraftKings Sportsbook WV, look a bit different than the markets on Feb. 23 did, when these two teams played in Fort Worth. Results for both teams over the past 10 days create an appropriate narrative.
The WVU vs. TCU spread for Thursday
DraftKings has the Mountaineers as a 13-point favorite against the Horned Frogs on Thursday. That’s nearly twice what the spread was when these two teams played on TCU’s home court, as that sat at 7.5 points. Obviously, the venue makes a big difference for oddsmakers here.
WVU averages about two more points per game (78.6 vs. 76.4) at the WVU Coliseum than it does in road games this season. However, it has scored at least 89 points in three of its last four at home. The one exception to that was a 22-point win against Kansas State, in which there was no reason for West Virginia to push the pace.
In the meeting between these two teams 10 days ago, the Mountaineers did cover with an eight-point win. Could they do the same with this larger margin? You can make an argument either way, actually.
With the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament and March Madness so close and seeding on the line, West Virginia needs a comfortable win here to further secure its standing. It’s poor optics for the Mountaineers if they struggle at home to dominate a team with a losing conference record that they trounced on the road just 10 days ago.
At the same time, 13 points is a massive spread in men’s college basketball betting. Having players healthy and rested for the upcoming tourney games is a bigger priority than blowing out TCU. If WVU can get to a three-possession lead, it might be comfortable to just try to maintain that edge.
For the total on this game, which WV FanDuel Sportsbook set at 142.5, the numbers also speak to the movement. The disparity between that and the prior total for the game between these two teams isn’t as great, though.
Could the under be the smart move?
If you look at West Virginia’s games against similar opponents (Big 12 teams who are at or below .500 in conference play), those have been games in which WVU has flexed its defensive muscles. For example, the Mountaineers allowed a total of 90 points to K-State in both games and held TCU to just 66 points on Feb. 23.
In those three games, the totals were no greater than 140. West Virginia’s home game against Iowa State also produced just 135 points. Once again, the decision for bettors at West Virginia sportsbooks here comes down to how much they think this game means to coach Bob Huggins’ squad.
If the Mountaineers put their foot on the gas, they could cover and the over could hit in this game easily. If WVU is looking ahead to next week and beyond instead, Thursday could be a loss for those who bet those markets that way.