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West Virginia Mountaineers at Baylor Bears Betting Preview

Big 12 foes will square off Monday night as the West Virginia Mountaineers (13-7, 2-5 in Big 12) square off with the No. 4 Baylor Bears (18-3, 6-2 in Big 12). The Bears will host this one at the Ferrell Center, with tipoff scheduled for 9:00 pm ET.

West Virginia comes into this one in the midst of a five-game losing streak. One of those losses was a 77-68 defeat at the hands of Baylor at home on January 18.

In the loss, Malik Curry, Taz Sherman, and Sean McNeil combined for 54 points, but it still wasn’t enough to take down Baylor. LJ Cryer (25 points) and Matthew Mayer (20 points) led the way for the Bears in the win.

Baylor has struggled a bit as of late. They have dropped three of their last six, including an 87-78 loss at Alabama on Saturday.

In the loss, they were without their leading scorer LJ Cryer, who was nursing a foot injury. Jeremy Sochan led the way for the Bears with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Baylor is the overwhelming favorite Monday night. They are -1400 to win while the Mountaineers’ moneyline sits at +800. The spread features West Virginia +14 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 136.5 (-110).

More Odds

Baylor currently has the second-best odds of winning the Big 12 this season at +180, only trailing Kansas (+140). The Mountaineers are +6500 to win the conference.

In terms of the National Championship, Baylor has the fifth-best odds to win at +1300. West Virginia is +13000 to win it all.

By The Numbers

Baylor has the better of the two offenses to date. They rank 18th in scoring, averaging 78.7 points per game (81.8 at home). The Mountaineers rank 225th, averaging 68.5 points per game.

Defensively, it is again Baylor with the advantage. Allowing just 60.6 points per game (56.6 at home), the Bears rank 15th in the nation in scoring defense. West Virginia ranks 60th, allowing 65.5 points per game.

West Virginia Gets No Breathing Room With Upcoming Schedule

Having lost five games in a row, the Mountaineers won’t get any breaks in the near future. In fact, the next three games for head coach Bob Huggins’ team are against ranked teams as they face No. 4 Baylor, No. 13 Texas Tech, and No. 23 Iowa State.

After being beat on their home floor a couple of weeks ago, the Mountaineers would love to return the favor to Baylor Monday night.

To do so, they will need big games from guards Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil. They are the only two players averaging double digits for West Virginia and will be responsible for trying to keep this contest close.

For Sherman, the senior has averaged 18.3 points on 41.9% shooting. He is also averaging 2.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. For McNeil, he is chipping in 13.3 points while also adding 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

Other contributors for the Mountaineers include Jalen Bridges (8.7 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Malik Curry (8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists).

Baylor Looks To Get Back On Track

After winning their first 15 games, the Baylor Bears have crashed back to reality over the last few weeks as they have struggled with consistency as of late. While they have dealt with some injuries in that time, they need to get back on track Monday, especially ahead of Saturday’s tilt with No. 5 Kansas.

The Bears have been led by sophomore guard LJ Cryer. While he didn’t play in their loss to Alabama, all indications are that he will suit up Monday night. This season, he is averaging 13.9 points on 47.8% shooting.

One of the biggest keys for Baylor is their depth. Outside of Cryer, they have three players averaging double digits, including James Akinjo (12.9 points, 5.7 assists, 2.2 steals), Adam Flagler (12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals), and Kendall Brown (10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds).

If that wasn’t enough, they have three others putting up good numbers in Matthew Mayer (9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds), Jeremy Sochan (8.3 points, 5.8 rebounds), and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (7.9 points, 7.3 rebounds).

Take Baylor To Win And Cover

Giving credit where it is due, the West Virginia Mountaineers are not too bad on the defensive side and can cause headaches for opponents by creating turnovers.

Still, this just seems like a get-right game for Baylor, where they can try to make a statement at home as they look to get back on track.

Especially if they are fully healthy, the depth of Baylor is nearly unmatched around the country and will create nightmares for West Virginia.

Expect Baylor to win, and don’t be surprised when they cover the 14-point spread.

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