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West Virginia Thriving As Small Favorites

The West Virginia Mountaineers and Illinois Fighting Illini clash in the preseason NIT at the Barclays Center on Thursday. Bettors may want to keep an eye on the spread, as West Virginia is 13-3 SU and 12-4 ATS in its past 16 games as a favorite of 8.5 or less, the line at the time of this writing.

Shark Bites
  • West Virginia is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last 7 games against teams with winning records.
  • Illinois is 2-11 SU in its last 13 games against teams with winning records.
  • Illinois is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games as an underdog of 8.5 or less.

West Virginia is a perfect 3-0, but it may be hard to put much stock in three victories over mid-majors. The Mountaineers have outscored those opponents (Mount St. Mary’s, Mississippi Valley State and New Hampshire) by an average of 42.7 points. Five WVU players are averaging double-digit points with senior Nathan Adrian pacing the team with 13.3.

Illinois’ offense has been red-hot to start the season, as the Illini have averaged 88.2 points through their first five games. Senior guard Malcolm Hill has continued to be the most important player to the Illini, averaging a team-high 20.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The West Virginia Mountaineers were listed as -9-point favorites at most sportsbooks tracked by Odds Shark earlier in the day. It opened first at BetOnline, where the over/under betting odds total was expected shortly.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs West Virginia Mountaineers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Supporters of the Illinois Fighting Illini have watched them go 4-1 and 2-2 ATS on the college basketball season, while the West Virginia Mountaineers are at 3-0 and 1-0 ATS. In totals betting, the West Virginia Mountaineers are 0-1, while the Illinois Fighting Illini have a 1-3 mark.

It's a betting matchup between the No. 44-rated West Virginia Mountaineers and the No. 183-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Illinois suffered a 84-80 loss against Winthrop on Monday, getting 18 points from Michael Finke in a losing effort at State Farm Center.

The battle between the Mountaineers and Wildcats didn’t turn out to be much of a battle at all as New Hampshire was handed a 100-41 defeat on Sunday at WVU Colliseum.

Betting Trends
  • Illinois is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • West Virginia is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games

Next Betting Matchups

Illinois home to North Carolina State, Tuesday, November 29th
West Virginia at Manhattan, Monday, November 28th

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