The WVU Mountaineers basketball staff is off to an unbelievable begin this season. By their first 11 video games, coach Bob Huggins and his squad are 10-1 and on prime of the Large 12 Convention standings.
After shaking off their solely defeat in a troublesome recreation with St. John’s, the Mountaineers have received three straight in commanding style. WVU beat Austin Peay and Nicholls by 57 mixed factors in entrance of the house crowd in Morgantown.
It then took down Youngstown State in its newest recreation on the street, leaving with a 75-64 victory.
The Mountaineers’ scorching begin earned them a spot within the AP Prime 25 final week because the 25th-ranked staff within the nation. This week, they’ve moved three spots and at the moment sit at No. 22.
Whereas their play has been nice to this point, the schedule has definitely helped issues. That modifications this week when WVU begins a really tough stretch of video games.
It begins with a contest in opposition to the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. They’re thought to be the most effective groups within the nation and are coming off a six-point win in opposition to No. 6 Kentucky.
WVU will then begin convention play with the category of the Large 12. On Jan. four, the Mountaineers will have fun the brand new yr in Lawrence in opposition to the Kansas Jayhawks.
Moreover KU, the convention is wanting robust as soon as once more. Each Baylor and Texas Tech are additionally ranked within the prime 25.
Though faculty soccer is wrapping up, sportsbooks are nonetheless seeing loads of betting motion. The three energetic retail books, in addition to the online sports betting apps in West Virginia, are constantly producing over $7 million in weekly betting deal with.
Let’s look at what’s been going proper for the Mountaineers and have a look forward towards the remainder of 2020.
Oscar Tshiebwe’s Development
Freshman Oscar Tshiebwe is without doubt one of the brightest components of this staff and a key contributor to its 10-1 report. The 6’9” ahead from the Congo is rising into a frontrunner and somebody coach Huggins can depend on for manufacturing.
Tshiebwe leads WVU in scoring with about 13 factors per recreation. He’s at the moment second on the staff in rebounds with 9.three boards per recreation. Tshiebwe solely trails Derek Culver who averages 9.four.
The freshman additionally reveals up massive on the defensive finish of the ground as properly. He averages over a half a steal per contest and leads the staff with 13 blocks.
A nice signal for the Mountaineers is that Tshiebwe is beginning to play in addition to his statistics present extra constantly.
He’s scored double-digit factors in 5 of the final six matchups, all whereas capturing at the very least 43% from the sector. In these six video games, Tshiebwe’s totaled 61 rebounds and has solely dedicated 12 turnovers.
One other a part of his recreation that’s progressed is his skill to get to the free-throw line.
Within the Mountaineers’ first 5 video games, Tshiebwe shot simply 11 free throws. Nonetheless, of their final six, he’s linked on 26 of 42 makes an attempt.
As an enormous man who does most of his harm from the paint, it’s essential for Tshiebwe to get to the charity stripe and convert. By drawing extra fouls, he’s capable of get his opponents in foul hassle and drive coaches to show to their bench choices way more typically.
On the opposite finish of the ground, Tshiebwe is enjoying smarter and committing fewer fouls himself. In WVU’s final three video games, he’s solely had three complete fouls.
Whereas guard play is extraordinarily vital in faculty basketball, having a dependable massive in your frontcourt can create loads of complications for different groups. If WVU desires to contend for the Large 12 title this yr, Tshiebwe will must be an important piece of the unit.
WVU Basketball Predictions
Although the Mountaineers shall be underdogs of their subsequent two matchups in opposition to Ohio State and Kansas, they might be favorable choices at WV sportsbooks as betting on college basketball in West Virginia turns into the main focus.
In line with ESPN’s Basketball Energy Index, WVU has round a 28% likelihood to beat the Buckeyes and an 18% likelihood to take down the Jayhawks. Whereas these percentages received’t excite WVU followers, it might be a great signal for these wagering on the staff.
There isn’t any direct correlation to ESPN’s proportion and what the purpose unfold shall be at WV sportsbooks, however the truth that they’re so low is telling. WVU must be decent-sized underdogs in each, with the street affair at Kansas seeing much more factors.
In its final recreation in opposition to Kentucky, KU was four-point favorites at a neutral-site in Las Vegas. Primarily based on that, it appears as if WVU shall be receiving nearer to 10 factors in its recreation at Kansas.
So far as the OSU recreation is anxious, the unfold must be considerably comparable.
Regardless of the sport not going down on the Buckeyes’ common dwelling stadium in Columbus, it’s nonetheless being performed in Cleveland, Ohio. This can create simply as a lot of a home-court benefit versus enjoying at an precise impartial location.
Although it is going to be two very tough video games, the Mountaineers have proven to date they’ve a really succesful staff. Profitable these video games outright is likely to be too tall of an order, however WVU can definitely cowl a large unfold.
If it might pull off the upset in both matchup, then WVU shall be making fairly the assertion to the remainder of the convention.
WVU Betting Odds
Though there are not any strains out for both of the subsequent two video games, there are some up to date futures odds obtainable. Listed here are the present odds for WVU basketball in accordance with each on-line apps obtainable within the state:
|DraftKings Sportsbook||FanDuel Sportsbook|
|Large 12 Convention Champion||+600||+700|
|Last 4 Look||+900||+900|
|Up to date: Jan. 6, 2019|
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