Baylor vs. West Virginia NCAA Basketball Picks and Odds Analysis

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Jalen Bridges #11 of the West Virginia Mountaineers. Mitchell Layton/Getty Images/AFP

Setting new records is usually a good thing, but that wasn’t the case last week for a Baylor Bears team that hits the road on Tuesday’s sports betting card for a game at the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

Baylor Bears vs. West Virginia Mountaineers 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 – 5:00 PM EST at WVU Coliseum 

If there’s any good news about this trip to West Virginia for Scott Drew and Baylor, it’s that the Bears cannot lose a third consecutive game at home. Ranked No. 1 on both conventional polls a week ago, Baylor became the first top-ranked team to lose two home games in a single week with setbacks against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. 

Bob Huggins and West Virginia were sitting right alongside Baylor on the NCAA futures odds in the Big 12 when the season began, both the Mountaineers and Bears behind frontrunners Kansas and Texas. The Jayhawks are living up to those projections currently at the top of the league, and it promises to be an exciting race to the end. 

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Chalk Has Covered Last Three Meetings 

If you’re wondering about the odd start time for a weeknight, your guess is as good as mine. There is some mention about the tip being moved to accommodate scheduling for the NFL playoffs, but unless the NFL is going to give Jerry Jones and his Cowboys an extra quarter to try and beat the 49ers, that wouldn’t appear to be the case. 

The top-rated sportsbooks are carrying Baylor as respectable 6½-point road chalk on what is being called a Gold Rush game for Mountaineers fans. The scoreboard target is 138, up a half-point from the opener. 

Tuesday’s tussle is the 21st in the series between Baylor and West Virginia, all but one of those coming since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 for the 2012-13 season. The Bears lead the rivalry 12-8 and have won four of the last five. A return match in Waco is scheduled just 13 days from now. 

A clash in Waco between Baylor and West Virginia was canceled last season, leaving the Bears and Mountaineers just one matchup against one another. It took place at Morgantown near the end of the regular season, and Baylor pulled off the 94-89 in overtime. Four free throws in the final 34 seconds of OT helped the Bears cash as 3½-point chalk, the third consecutive meeting for chalk to cover, and the final went past the total for the fifth time in six meetings. 

Bears 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS in True Road Games 

Baylor’s loss to Texas Tech was somewhat understandable, and the Bears should be proud of winning 21 in a row dating to last year’s March Madness before becoming the last of the unbeatens this campaign. Besides, even without some of their best offensive weapons, the Red Raiders already managed to take down Kansas and hand the Jayhawks their only conference defeat to date. 

Falling 61-54 to Oklahoma State on Saturday can’t be so easily forgiven, however. LJ Cryer, who led the Bears with 18 points, wouldn’t use the loss to Texas Tech as an excuse, and Drew would only babble in coach-speak about how it showed the talent and depth of the conference to explain his team’s disappointing performance. 

With the college basketball odds listing Baylor as 14-point home chalk, the Bears were facing an Oklahoma State team that was playing its third consecutive road game of the week and had only covered one of its previous nine games. The Bears were without forwarding Jeremy Sochan in both contests last week, and he is questionable to face the Mountaineers due to an ankle injury. 

‘Over’ Cashes Four of WVU’s Last Five

Huggins and his crew did a pretty good job handling Oklahoma State earlier in the week, posting a 70-60 decision s 2½-point favorites at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review). The Mountaineers grabbed the lead for good about midway through the first half, and took care of business at the charity stripe with a 21-for-22 effort, far exceeding the team’s 66.7% success rate for the season. 

West Virginia then came out strong in Lawrence on Saturday, going up by 8 against Kansas at one point in the first half. The Jayhawks made adjustments on offense, however, and the Mountaineers scuffled mightily during the second half to fall 85-59 as 11½-point underdogs. 

Baylor might also be without guard James Akinjo on Tuesday after the senior got knocked to the deck pretty hard in the loss to Oklahoma State. That’s a bigger blow than missing Sochan again, and enough for me to go with a college basketball pick on the final stopping short of the mark. 

NCAAB Pick: Under 138 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 138 (-108)
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