The regular season is wrapping up for the Mountaineers men’s basketball team, but Saturday brings a quality contest for bettors in the Mountain State. WVU vs. Texas might be the game of the day on the men’s college basketball slate.
West Virginia is a 3.5-point underdog in Austin, with tip-off set for 3 p.m. ET on ABC. The history of this series isn’t kind to the Mountaineers, but data suggest other bets could pay off.
Handicapping the spread for WVU vs. Texas Saturday
West Virginia comes in having lost four of its past five straight up, including all four games played on a Saturday, to Texas. The Mountaineers managed just 57 and 54 points in their past two contests at the Frank Erwin Center.
Recent form is on the Mountaineers’ side, though. WVU has won four of its last six outright. One of those two losses came by a single point in overtime.
The Longhorns have split their last six games, including going 2-2 at home during that stretch. With a spread of 3.5 points, Texas has covered nearly 45% of the time this season.
That excludes the first meeting between these teams in Morgantown on Jan. 9. The Longhorns won that game by two points, holding WVU under 39% from the field.
While the numbers don’t profoundly support the Mountaineers covering the spread here, there is some more convincing data on the total for this game. WVU has shot much better than that 39% as of late.
Fawning over the Over for Saturday
Sitting around 147 for WVU vs. Texas depending on which West Virginia sportsbook you’re looking at, there are several reasons to like the Over on the total. For one thing, the Over has hit in each of West Virginia’s past six games.
It’s also hit in three of Texas’ past five. Although games at the Frank Erwin Center have averaged just 144.5 points and the Over is 8-10 overall in Longhorns games this season, recent form is important here.
These two teams have boosted their combined average points per game to 152.8 thanks to some strong recent performances. WVU has scored at least 80 points in four of its past five, while Texas has done the same three times over its past five outings.
Texas’ defense has been staunch at times this year, as the Longhorns average allowing under 68 points per game. However, the Mountaineers’ offense has been on such a roll of late, it’s hard to see Texas repeating its defensive performance from earlier this season.
Pulling off this upset would be huge for WVU’s momentum as the season closes. While WV sportsbooks don’t expect that result, this game could easily creep into the 150s if recent trends hold.