West Virginia Mountaineers at Oklahoma State Cowboys – NCAAM January 4

West Virginia (8-3, 1-2) at Oklahoma State (7-2, 1-2)

  • Time: 6PM PST, 8PM CST and 9PM EST
  • Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena, OK
  • NAT TV: ESPN2

Series

The Mountaineers own a 9-8 lead in the series after posting a pair of double digit wins over Oklahoma State last season. WVU has lost two out of the last three games while OSU’s win over Texas Tech on Saturday stopped a two-game losing streak.

Vs. The Spread

West Virginia is 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games, but they are 0-9-1 ATS in their last 10 games on the road. The Mountaineers are 6-1 ATS in their lasts even games when playing at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The total has gone OVER in five of OSU’s last six games and the OVER has been the play in Oklahoma State’s last five vs. the Big 12.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
West Virginia -2 (-110) -135 O 142.5 (-110)
Oklahoma State +2 (-110) +115 U 142.5 (-110)

Last Time Out

The Mountaineers had to adjust their lineup without Oscar Tshiebwe as they fell at Oklahoma, 75-71. WVU came from 18 points down to tie the game in the second half before the Sooners were able to pull away late. Jalen Bridges made his first career start at OU and he joined Taz Sherman with game-high honors with 19 points each.

Bryce Williams also had his first start for Oklahoma State and he made good for coach Mike Boynton as he had a key steal and breakaway dunk as the Cowboys won their first Big 12 game at Texas Tech, 82-77. Avery Anderson, III, and Isaac Likelele had 17 each to lead the Cowboys who led by 11 points in the second half before taking the win in overtime.

Musket Musings

West Virginia Mountaineers LogoCoach Bob Huggins goes for his 300th win as the coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers and how he continues to look for his squad to shoot the ball better on a consistent basis. While big-man Derek Culver shoots 49.1 percent inside the arc, he is going to need to pick that percentage up and get into the 52-55 percent range since Oscar Tshiebwe stepped away from the team last week and Isaiah Cottrell is sidelined with a torn Achilles that he suffered last week against Northeastern. Tshiebwe had lost his aggression over the first ten games as his overall stats were down over last season. Culver only had two points in the loss to Oklahoma on Saturday.

Could the losses of Tshiebwe and Cottrell allow West Virginia pick up the pace and push the ball in transition more? Point guard Miles McBride is averaging 14.8 points to lead WVU while he shoots 38.9 percent from the field and he also has a 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. It feels like this would allow him to proliferate his game even more and potentially allow Culver to hit the paint with more opportunities to score now that defenses will concentrate on him. McBride joins guards Taz Sherman (41% -3) and Sean McNeil (33.9% – 3) in a 3-point game that can have success as the Cowboys’ opponents have shot 33.9 percent from behind the arc this season.

From the Saddle

Oklahoma State Cowboys LogoThe Cowboys lost their first two Big 12 contests to TCU and Texas by a combined three points before the overtime win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Putting that emotional win behind them is a psychological must for Mike Boynton’s squad. Freshman Cade Cunningham (18.4 ppg) continues to lead the team in scoring as he is a solid 3-point shooter and is second in rebounding (5.8 rpg).

Cunningham’s size and versatility is a problem for all opponents and it will be interesting to see if he plays the bulk of his minutes inside against Culver or on the perimeter where his 6-8 frame and his length can be an issue. Isaac Likelele leads the Pokes in rebounding at 8.1 per game while he has upgraded his shooting and scoring over last season in checking in at 57.8 percent and 40 percent from behind the arc. Eight players on the Oklahoma State roster average 6.0 ppg. or over.

Winner: Oklahoma State (+2) 76, West Virginia 74
Over-Under: Take OVER 142.5

The Bets
Oklahoma State Cowboys +2
-110
OVER 142.5
-110
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.