by Aengus Moorehead
Mountaineers: 19-4 SU,14-7 ATS
Jayhawks: 19-4 SU,13-8 ATS
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
The Mountaineers, despite numerous hurdles, have moved to the top of the Big 12 standings, while KU has lost twice more in the league (both on the road) to drop one game off the pace in the league race. Wins over TCU (twice) Texas, Kentucky and Kansas State were offset by losses at Oklahoma State and Iowa State, but the Jayhawks have plenty of time to climb back atop their accustomed spot in the conference.
After this week’s double dip of WVU and Oklahoma, Kansas has a very favorable schedule down the stretch, so a win here would go a long way in helping them compete for a ridiculous 12th consecutive regular season league title.
The Jayhawks, who have won their last three games, will put their trust on their dynamic one-two punch in Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. to lead the attack. The two are putting up 16.7 and 14.5 points per outing respectively this season.
Moreover, Ellis enters this match with some serious momentum. He’s scoring 20.2 points and is shooting the ball at a staggering rate of 62.9 percent in his previous five games. Ellis also posted 21 points with seven boards and three dimes in their loss to the Mountaineers on January 12.
If for some reason that Ellis and Selden Jr. struggle in this one, the responsibility falls on the pair of Frank Mason III (13.0 PPG) and Devonte’ Graham (10.7 PPG) to step up their game. Both are contributing double-figure scoring numbers this season.
It’ll be interesting to see, though, how the Jayhawks’ loaded offense (81.5 PPG) will fare against a pretty solid West Virginia defense that has only giving up 68.1 points in its last nine games.
West Virginia’s definitely oozing with confidence right now. The Mountaineers head into this matchup fresh off back-to-back wins versus Baylor and Iowa State. In those two wins, Dexter Miles Jr. and Devin Williams provided big-time performances to help their squad come out on top.
Miles Jr., who is putting up 10.8 points this season, has finished with 31 points and nine rebounds combined during those two wins. Williams, meanwhile, has been arguably even better, averaging 15.0 points and 12.6 boards in his previous three games. These two are bound to test a Kansas defense that’s giving up almost 70 points per contest.
Furthermore, the No. 10 Mountaineers will continue to lean on Jaysean Paige, who averages a team-best 14.2 points, to provide them a major boost off the bench. Paige has finished with 12 or more points over his past five games. That stretch includes their win over Texas Tech on January 23, wherein the senior guard scored 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
On the season, West Virginia averages 81.0 points per game, while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc. They allow teams to shoot just 41.7 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from three-point range.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas Jayhawks Early Odds & Betting Lines
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Kansas was a 75-56 winner in their most recent outing on the road against Horned Frogs. They covered the -13-point spread as favorites.
West Virginia was a 80-69 winner in their most recent outing at home against Bears. They covered the -6-point spread as favorites.
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West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas Jayhawks Betting Trends
West Virginia is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
West Virginia is 19-4 SU in its last 23 games
West Virginia is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games on the road
Current Streak: won 3 straight games.
Kansas is 18-3 SU in its last 21 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kansas's last 9 games
Kansas is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games at home
West Virginia home to TCU Saturday, February 13
Kansas at Oklahoma Saturday, February 13
The Jayhawks have yet to drop a game at Allen Fieldhouse this season and are riding a 36-game home winning streak. However, West Virginia has shown the ability to play well on the road in conference play and although they might fall short in a tough environment, they should keep this affair a fairly tight one. Take West Virginia +7 and the over 151½.
Aengus NCAA College Basketball Prediction and Pick: West Virginia +7 at Mybookie
devin williams - dexter miles jr - kansas jayhawks - perry ellis - wayne selden jr - west virginia mountaineers