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West Virginia Takes On UConn In Near Pick’em Matchup

R.J. Cole's Huskies are underdogs in the UConn vs West Virginia odds.

Two comparable one-loss teams meet Wednesday when the West Virginia Mountaineers (7-1 SU, 3-5 ATS) host the 15th-ranked UConn Huskies (8-1, 4-5) as small home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. These teams have met only once in the past nine years, as West Virginia left for the Big 12 Conference starting with the 2012-13 season after spending the previous five in the Big East with UConn.

UConn Huskies vs West Virginia Mountaineers
  • Date/Time: December 8, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: WVU Coliseum
  • TV Coverage: ESPN2
  • Opening Odds: West Virginia -2.5 | O/U 136 (Line History)
  • UConn vs West Virginia Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Both of these teams have been favored in all of their games so far this year, including more than half of them by double digits. That is one reason why this is a very even matchup on paper, although bettors are siding with the Huskies in early wagering action.

The point spread already dropped to West Virginia -1 as of Tuesday afternoon and could end up closing near a pick’em if that support for the visitors continues. Neither team has a winning spread record either, so who knows what will actually happen. The total has surprisingly gone up a bit to 137 too despite trends favoring the UNDER.

UConn News & Notes

The Huskies are 3-3 ATS in six games in which they were favored by 26 points or more while going 1-2 ATS when favored by 8 or less. UConn’s lone loss came against the Michigan State Spartans 64-60 after closing as a 2.5-point favorite in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals on November 25.

The Huskies have won three games in a row since then but have failed to cover the spread in three of four, including the last two as massive favorites. Senior guard R.J. Cole (16.3 points per game) has led them in scoring in each of the past three games after sophomore forward Adama Sanogo (15.6) had done so in four of the first six.

One of UConn’s main strengths is the team’s offensive balance, though, with four players averaging double figures in scoring and six averaging more than eight points per game. The Huskies have six players averaging at least 22 minutes per game as well and just one (Cole) averaging more than 30.

West Virginia News & Notes

The Mountaineers are riding a four-game winning streak since suffering their first loss to the Marquette Golden Eagles 82-71 as 5.5-point favorites in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic on November 19. They are a perfect 5-0 SU in true home games this season but only 1-4 ATS even though three of the wins came by double digits.

West Virginia has just two players who average double figures in points, guards Taz Sherman (21 points per game) and Sean McNeil (12). Sherman and McNeil are also the only two who average more than 26 minutes per game, so the team is obviously heavily reliant on this duo. In fact, Sherman has led the Mountaineers in scoring in six of the first eight games and topped the team in assists in five of them.

In their lone loss to the Golden Eagles, they led 47-35 at halftime before their opponent rallied back from a double-digit deficit for the third consecutive time to advance to the Charleston Classic title game.

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How UConn Will Cover

This could be a clash of styles based on how each school prefers to play, as UConn will likely look to push the pace. In the four games the Huskies have covered this year, they have scored 88 points or more each time. They are 4-2 ATS when scoring over 72.

How West Virginia Will Cover

West Virginia is 3-1 ATS in its last four when holding the opposition below 71 points, so that will be the goal for the hosts here. The Mountaineers will not want to run-and-gun and get into a shootout, so look for them to try to dictate the tempo on their home court.

Computer Pick: UConn +2

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UConn +2 is just one of the many NCAAB predictions that you can find over at our College Basketball Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • West Virginia is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in UConn’s last 6 games.
  • UConn is 15-4 SU and 13-6 ATS in its last 19 vs WVU.