West Virginia Opens As Slight Favorite Against Baylor Saturday

Written By Derek Helling on February 24, 2024
jordan harrison west virginia basketball

The Big 12 conference tournament is less than two weeks away. After Saturday’s contest, both the No. 24 Baylor Bears and the 22nd-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers will have just two games remaining on their regular-season schedule.

Thus, for both teams, Saturday is among their last chances to improve their seeding for the conference tournament and add a quality win to their resumés for the national championship tourney. Legal North American online sportsbooks prefer West Virginia to capitalize on those chances but narrowly.

Baylor at West Virginia details

This will be the final meeting of these teams on the 2023-24 regular season, coming just two weeks after their first. While Baylor will have a shot to earn the season sweep on Saturday, the Mountaineers are a 1.5-point favorite over the Bears.

  • Tip-off: 2 p.m. ET, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
  • Venue: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Broadcast: ESPN+
  • Previous matchup: Feb. 10, 2024, at Baylor, 65-58 Bears win
  • Last 5 games: Baylor LWLWW, West Virginia WLWWL
  • Average points for: Baylor 76.1, West Virginia 76.9
  • Average points against: Baylor 59.8, West Virginia 57.2
  • West Virginia record: 22-4 overall, 13-1 at home, 11-4 Big 12
  • Baylor record: 20-6 overall, 4-4 on the road, 9-6 Big 12

Baylor has a strong edge in this series 23-5 and has won 10 of 11 games in Morgantown in the series. The Bears have also won eight of the last 10 games in the series regardless of venue.  Both teams come into this game as healthy as possible given the late stage of the season.

The total on the contests sits around 134.5. A look at the statistics suggest that wagers on that market might be the way to go for this matchup.

Handicapping Mountaineers vs. Bears

Two weeks ago, Baylor turned the tables on West Virginia, winning the turnover battle, attempting more shots than the Mountaineers, and holding West Virginia under 33% shooting from the field. The Mountaineers have built their success on converting turnovers into easy offense this season and holding the opposition to 39% from the field overall.

The Bears’ greatest strength this season has been its ball movement, as Baylor is seventh in the nation in average assists per game. Thus, to cover in this contest, West Virginia really just needs to execute its usual gameplan.

The under is in play in this contest because neither team is going to simply rely on outscoring the opposition. Additionally, teams are shooting just 39.5% against the Bears so far this season as well. As far as the spread goes, the statistics reinforce the basic pick’em nature of the market.

Photo by AP Photo/Gregory Payan
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA and the managing editor of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of the gambling industry with business, the law, and technology.

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