West Virginia vs Kansas Picks and Odds

Kansas' Marcus Garrett knocks the ball away from West Virginia's Miles McBride

FILE – Kansas’ Marcus Garrett (0) knocks the ball away from West Virginia’s Miles McBride (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kansas, in this Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, file photo. At left is Kansas’ Devon Dotson (1). Garrett averaged 9.2 points last season, but his biggest contributions come on the other end of the floor. The 6-5 guard was named the Naismith national defensive player of the year last season. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
  • #4 Kansas (7-1) hosts #6 West Virginia (7-1) on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 9:00 pm ET
  • Both teams are unbeaten in true home and true road games, though neither has a winning record against the spread
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below

The best Big 12 matchup of the young season is coming your way on Tuesday night, as #4 Kansas (7-1) hosts #6 West Virginia at 9:00 PM ET as slight favorites.

The Jayhawks are 4-0 at home, and home teams have covered against the spread in 14 of the past 19 meetings between these teams. They share the same record — and have lost to the same opponent — which makes this a fun matchup on paper. The odds favor Kansas by 2.5 points on the road in Morgantown.

Kansas vs West Virginia Odds

Team Moneyline Point Spread Total
Kansas -158 -2.5 (-120) Over 140.5 (-110)
West Virginia +134 +2.5 (-102) Under 140.5 (-110)

Odds as of Dec. 21st, 2020.

How They’ve Fared So Far

As stated above, both Kansas and West Virginia have fallen victims to the same foe: No. 1 Gonzaga. If you’re gonna lose, might as well do so against the nation’s top team, right?

Kansas lost to Gonzaga, 120-90, back on Nov. 26 in the opening matchup for both programs. The Jayhawks shot 44.4 percent from 3-pt. range, but they let the Bulldogs dominate inside (shooting 77.3 percent inside the arc).

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Since then, Kansas has rattled off seven consecutive victories, three of which came against teams inside KenPom’s top 50: Kentucky (50th), Creighton (14th) and Texas Tech (10th). To be fair, those three wins came by a combined five points, so their outlook could be completely different if a few bounces had landed differently. Still, quality wins are important to compile.

West Virginia’s loss to Gonzaga came on Dec. 2 by a score of 87-82, in which the Mountaineers reached the free throw line an impressive 33 times — but committed 15 turnovers. West Virginia had a lead with as few as seven minutes left.

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So, the Mountaineers lost to Gonzaga by five while the Jayhawks lost by 12. But here’s another difference: West Virginia doesn’t have any wins against teams inside KenPom’s top 50 (their closest victories were against Richmond, 53rd, and VCU, 54th).

2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds Tracker

ATS Analysis

West Virginia is 4-4 against the spread, but they’ve lost three of their past four. The only time they have been underdogs in their past 10 games — dating back to March 3 of last season — the Mountaineers covered an 8.5-point spread against Gonzaga.

Six of the Mountaineers’ eight games have finished with a win or loss margin of four points or fewer against the spread.

Kansas is 3-4 against the spread (one game, against a non-Division I opponent, didn’t have odds), including consecutive wins in their past two games. They’ve been favored in seven of their past 10 games dating back to last season, and they’ve covered in three of those games.

This is a difficult looks like it’ll lean toward the under, as that has been the result in nine of their combined 15 games. Kansas has seen five consecutive games hit the under.

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Jayhawks are on a four game straight up winning streak against the Mountaineers, and they’ve won against the spread in three of those four games. These teams have actually played five times in the past two years, which is an impressively large sample size in that brief span.

Here’s what we know: Kansas has played (and beaten) better teams this year. Kansas has beaten West Virginia in their past four meetings. Kansas, as the favorite, should be able to take care of business on Tuesday.

Oh, and four of the past five matchups have finished well below the point total.

Pick: Kansas -2.5 (-120); Under 140.5 (-110)

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