No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-2) vs. No. 2 West Virginia Mountaineers (15-1)
When and Where: Saturday, January 13, Lubbock, TX, 2:00 P.M. EST
Line: Texas Tech -4.5
One of the most interesting matchups of the weekend will take place at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock between hosting Red Raiders and visiting Mountaineers. The showdown between two top-10 ranked teams will be nationally televised at ESPN and every true basketball fan is looking forward to it. The Mountaineers are coming off from a 57-64 home win over Baylor while Red Raiders suffered their second loss of the season by Oklahoma on the road, 75-65.
The Mountaineers are undefeated this season on the US soil
The only loss of the season came in Week 1 when the Mountaineers appeared at Armed Forces Classic in Ramstein, Germany where they got clipped by Texas A&M Aggies. We will definitely ascribe this flop to the long flight and time difference because since landing home, the team is undefeated with 15 victories in a row (longest active winning streak in the NCAA). The squad averages 82.8 points per game on offense (37th nationally) but their main strength comes on the defensive side of the court as they limit their opponents to 64.9 points per contest (31st in the NCAA).
The Mountaineers are very balanced team offensively with six players averaging 9+ plus points per game. Senior guard Jevon Carter tops the team with 16.1 points, 5.5 boards, and team-high 6.8 assists while Daxter Miles follows with an average of 13.8 points, 3.2 boards and 3.6 assists per duel. Sophomores Lamont West and James Bolden also average double scoring digits with 12.9 and 10.4 points while forward Saqaba Konate leads the team on the defensive side of the court with team-high 7.4 boards. Against the Bears, West and Miles led the team with 12 points each while Konate collected game-high 12 boards.
The Red Raiders in search of 12th home win of the season
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will end their streak of duels with the ranked teams against the Mountaineers after taking down the No. 18 Baylor and No. 10 Kansas, but falling to No.9 Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday. Still, a 3-1 record in this tough schedule presents a solid result, especially if they somehow manage to emerge victorious against white hit West Virginia. Red Raiders’ main strength is the defense where they allow only 60.2 points per game to their opponents (5th best nationally) while averaging 80.1 points per contest on offense (64th in the NCAA).
Individually, senior guard Keenan Evans tops the team in scoring with 17.3 points on average while adding 2.9 boards and team-high 3.2 assists. Two freshman guards Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver are recording 10.3 and 10.2 points while Culver also adds 4.0 boards per matchup. Most impact on defense comes from forwards Zach Smith and Tommy Hamilton who are averaging 4.2 and 3.9 boards per duel. Against the Sooners, Evans led the team with 19 points while Culver and Hamilton added nine each.
- 3-11 ATS in their last 14 Saturday games.
- 9-4 O/U in their last 13 Saturday games.
- 4-0 O/U in their last five games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 6-0 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- 6-0 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- 4-0 O/U in their last four games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Matchups between top teams are always less risky to go for Totals thane for ATS and this is where would I go primarily here. If you must pick and ATS winner, the home team is my advice but I urge you to reconsider because the line will not be high and it could go either way.