Kalib Boone #22 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys dunks. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP
Monday night features a pair of Big 12 rivals when West Virginia travels to Oklahoma State to take on the Cowboys. Let’s analyze this matchup and figure out which side is worth backing in our college basketball picks!
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Monday, January 04, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Gallagher-Iba Arena
After winning seven of their first eight, the Mountaineers have sputtered recently, dropping two of their last three including a 75-71 decision to Oklahoma in Norman. West Virginia rallied from an 18-point deficit at the half but still couldn’t overcome their sloppy first-half performance. Taz Sherman and Jalen Bridges each bucketed 19 points for the Mountaineers while sophomore guard, Miles McBride, chipped in with 15 points of his own.
One of the areas of concern, particularly in the first half of the game, was the open outside shots the Mountaineers allowed the Sooners to take with Oklahoma junior guard destroying West Virginia, draining eight three-pointers for a season-high 29 points.
“At halftime, we adjusted our defense, mainly, because we were giving up way too many wide-open shots,” Jalen Bridges said. “We weren’t playing with energy. We didn’t really take an offensive approach to the second half.”
Cowboys Stun Texas Tech
Oklahoma State had just dropped a hard-fought 77-74 decision to Texas as 6 ½ point road dogs before they took a 12-day holiday respite and traveled back to the Lone Star State to battle the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. The Cowboys ended the opening half with a nine-point lead before the Red Raiders stormed back and tied the game at the end of regulation. However, the Cowboys got their act together and outscored Texas Tech, 14-9, in the overtime frame not only cashing for all of those who included Oklahoma State in their college basketball picks but providing a handsome return on the moneyline as well.
Oklahoma State had four of their five starters in double digits with Isaac Likekele and sophomore Avery Anderson III leading the way with 17 points apiece. Ole Miss senior transfer, Bryce Williams, got his first start of the season and delivered 15 points including a critical steal and a pivotal dunk in the overtime frame.
“I’m really proud of our kids for showing the fight and resiliency that it took to come in here and win,” said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton. “Because certainly, not everything went our way. We dealt with some adversity during the game and our kids showed some fight.”
Wanna Make a Bet?
There are a few things to consider as we analyze this matchup between two talented conference rivals. First and foremost, West Virginia has lost two freshmen forwards in Isaiah Cottrell (torn Achilles) and sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe (personal reasons) and ultimately lost to the Sooners, perhaps, because of it. Those two inside players will be nowhere to be found when these teams take the floor on Monday night.
Secondly, the Mountaineers have remained in Oklahoma rather than return home due to the short layover against Oklahoma State. College kids on the road don’t bode well while their opponents are settled back into familiar surroundings coming off of a huge win over a nationally ranked conference foe in Texas Tech.
West Virginia has won the last two meetings between these teams but the Cowboys could be looking for some payback after they were blown out, 65-47, in their last meeting 11 months ago. We should also note that the Mountaineers are 2-9 against the spread over their last 11 road games while Oklahoma State is 4-1 ATS over their last five games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600 and is 4-1 ATS over their last five games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The college basketball odds are revealing the Mountaineers as an ever so slight 1 to 1 ½ point road favorite here but I’m convinced betting sites have the wrong favorite. The Cowboys are averaging over 77 points per game and have a big inside presence, averaging 41.1 rebounds per game. The fact that West Virginia lost two forwards within one week will hurt them in this matchup and that is why I suggest you click on over to Heritage Sports and get the best number out there on Oklahoma State even though I doubt you’ll need it.
Cowboys +1.5(-108)Visit Site