#14 West Virginia Mountaineers (16-3) vs. #18 Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-7)
Texas Tech has lost two in a row and they look to snap their skid at home hosting a ranked West Virginia team that has won two in a row and five of their last six games.
On the season West Virginia is 12-7 ATS with an O/U record of 6-13 and Texas Tech is 8-11 ATS with an O/U record of 9-9.
West Virginia has won five of their last six games and the only game in that span they faced a ranked team it was a 66-54 win over Texas Tech. The Mountaineers are 4-2 in Big 12 play trailing Baylor (6-0) and Kansas (5-1).
They have one of the best defenses in the nation only giving up an average of 60.1 ppg and in their last game killed it on D in their 74-51 home win over Missouri.
Texas Tech has lost two in a row and in their last game they lost at home to 15th ranked Kentucky 76-74 in OT.
The Red Raiders are a decent team on the offensive end of the floor but on the season have been led by a defense that ranks in the top 40 in the nation giving up an average of 62.5 ppg.
Last season Texas Tech won both regular-season matchups against West Virginia but lost to them in the Big 12 tournament.
This season Texas Tech is 9-2 at home and West Virginia is 3-3 on the road.
Smothering the Tigers
In West Virginia’s blowout win over Missouri in their last game, they outscored the Tigers 50-28 in the second half and held them to an FG% of only 28.3%. They only shot 41.5% from the floor but their defense held Mizzou in check.
In the win over Missouri Jermaine Haley and reserve Miles McBride paced the Mountaineers each going for 15 points and Oscar Tshiebw had 14 points and eight rebounds.
West Virginia has three players averaging in double figures led by Tshiebw (11.8 ppg 9.4 rpg) and in his last two games he has totaled 27 points and 19 rebounds. While he only had seven points in the win over Texas Tech as few games back he did have 17 rebounds.
Derek Culver (10.4 ppg) is the second-leading scorer for the Mountaineers and went for four points in the last game and has failed to score in double figures in two of his last three games. McBride (10.4 ppg) has been a solid scorer off the bench on the season and the freshman has averaged 13.6 ppg in his last five games.
Tech Must Shoot the Rock Better
In the loss to West Virginia a couple of weeks ago Tech only shot 28.4% from the floor, so needless to say they need to shoot the rock better hosting them this time around.
In the OT loss to Kentucky in their last game, the Red Raiders shot a slightly lower FG% (42.2% to 43.6%) and while they forced 20 turnovers they were ice-cold from deep with a 3-pt FG% of only 15.8% (3-19).
On the season Jahmi’us Ramsey (14.9 ppg) leads the Red Raiders in scoring but only went for six points in the loss to Kentucky and has failed to score over seven points in two of his last three games.
Davide Moretti (13.1 ppg) went for 15 points in the loss to UK Kyler Edwards (12.2 ppg) had 18 points in the loss to them after only going for nine points in his previous game.
Of the top nine scorers for Tech only one is not a guard and if the Mountaineers can play good perimeter defense they will be in good shape.
West Virginia is 8-1 ATS in their last nine games and Texas Tech is only 2-4 ATS in their last six games.
West Virginia is the hotter team and they already beat Texas Tech this season. Still, the Red Raiders are 9-2 at home this season with one of those losses coming against the top-ranked team in the nation in Baylor.
The Mountaineers are the more balanced of the two teams and they will play the Red Raiders close and play good D.
Bettorsworld Score Prediction WVA 64 Texas Tech 61