Baylor vs. West Virginia Predictions, Odds, Preview

Mar. 2, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

A huge Big 12 matchup sees the Baylor Bears take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Tip is set for an early 5 p.m. (ET) and will air on ESPN.


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Baylor-West Virginia Betting Odds

  • Spread: Baylor -3
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 149.5

Odds Subject to Change

The Baylor Bears enter as the road favorites, given a -3-point spread. Baylor has covered the spread in 13 of its last 19 games, while West Virginia has covered the spread in 13 of its last 23 games.

The point total is set at 149.5, which both schools lean OVER on. West Virginia has gone OVER the point total in 15 of its last 23 games, while Baylor is 10-9 on the O/U.

Derek Culver averages a double-double for the West Virginia Mountaineers, scoring 15 points and gibbing 10.1 rebounds per game. (AP)

Betting Analysis – Baylor Bears

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 18-1
  • ATS: 13-6
  • SU - Home: 11-0
  • SU - Away: 7-1
  • O/U: 10-9

Baylor is looking to get back on track, none too impressive against Iowa State and then losing to Kansas on the road. In fairness to Baylor, they were due to lose and playing against a team that was 45-2 over its last 47 games when playing at home at night. Things aren't easier against West Virginia though, as Jared Butler will have to score more than five points this time.

He was held in check against Kansas, shooting 14.3% from three-point range while accumulating as many personal fouls as he had points. It's obvious to say that he needs to be much better for Baylor to win this game.

Baylor's defense was actually decent against Kansas, only allowing 71 and average about 64 points allowed per game as a team. Typically, 71 points allowed is enough for Baylor's offense to win the game - averaging 85 per game which ranks fourth nationally.

Betting Analysis – West Virginia Mountaineers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 17-6
  • ATS: 13-10
  • SU - Home: 10-3
  • SU - Away: 7-3
  • O/U: 15-8

West Virginia is on a roll right now, winning three straight games and six of its last seven. The only loss suffered by West Virginia was a double-overtime shootout to Oklahoma, dropping the game by one point in Norman, Oklahoma. Miles McBride and Derek Culver get all the credit, as they should.

However, players such as Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil are beginning to produce at a consistent pace as well. West Virginia thrives in the post though, as Culver wins most big men battles down low.

Not only that, but the Mountaineers get to the line a ton. West Virginia attempts 23.9 free throws per game, which ranks seventh in the nation. They also connect on 16.7 per game, which ranks 12th (despite only hitting 69.9% of free throws). They also shoot the three-pointer well, hitting 36.5% of their long range shots which ranks 61st nationally.

Inside the Stats – Baylor Bears

  • PS/G: 84.9 (4th)
  • PA/G: 63.7 (33rd)
  • Off Rtg: 120.2 (2nd)
  • Def Rtg: 90.2 (12th)

Inside the Stats – West Virginia Mountaineers

  • PS/G: 77.1 (59th)
  • PA/G: 70.8 (198th)
  • Off Rtg: 108 (67th)
  • Def Rtg: 99.2 (154th)

Key Players to Watch

  • BAY - Jared Butler (16.4 PPG, 4.9 APG)
  • BAY - MaCio Teague (14.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG)
  • WVU - Miles McBride (15.5 PPG, 4 RPG, 4.6 APG)
  • WVU - Derek Culver (15 PPG, 10.1 RPG)

Baylor-West Virginia Predictions

Its unlikely Baylor's offense struggles a second straight game. Also keep in mind that West Virginia's defense isn't very good, allowing just over 70 points per game. Assuming Baylor can reach 70 points while West Virginia touches 70 at minimum, the point total should go OVER and favor the 25-17 O/U odds.

Its easy to fade Baylor here, not looking good against Iowa State while failing to score 60 points against Kansas. The Bears are still the better roster overall, and have a more reliable ATS to back then West Virginia does (13-6 to 13-10).

Baylor should be able to cover -3 (or PUSH at the minimum), but the point total has more conviction. West Virginia has seen at least one team score 82 points or more in six of its last nine games.

  • Score Prediction: Baylor 77 West Virginia 73
  • Best Bets: OVER
  • Best Bets: Baylor -3


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