#8 WVU is sure to draw a lot of public action in the NCAAB West Virginia at Oklahoma pick as a top 10 team getting points on the road Saturday afternoon. Oddsmakers have set the Sooners as -2 point favorites at the Lloyd Noble Center, where they have gone 4-1 on the year.
A slight 52% of the public does indeed like OU giving the points. It makes sense, Lon Kruger’s team did get the series sweep a year ago, winning 69-59 in Norman as +2.5 underdogs and 73-62 at West Virginia as +8 ‘dogs. WVU also loses talented big man Oscar Tshiebwe, who has opted to take a break from the program for personal reasons.
Can WVU Pull Things Together?
The loss of Tshiebwe definitely hurts, as the 6’9″ PF had 12 points and 15 rebounds just on Tuesday night in the Mountaineers 71-53 win over Northeastern. Tshiebwe’s production has dipped a bit to 8.5 ppg and 7.8 rpg after going for 11/9 last year as a freshman, but monster games like last time out shows the upside the big man had.
West Virginia finds themselves with a sudden lack of size, as 6’10” Isaiah Cottrell was also lost in the Northeastern game with an Achilles injury, costing him the rest of the season. The freshman was only playing 5.6 mpg, but likely would’ve seen a big increase in Tshiebwe’s absence.
All is not lost for the Mountaineers, as they are still a very deep team. Miles McBride (14.8) and Derek Culver (14.1) lead a group of four players averaging double figures in scoring. The 6’10” Culver is also still a major presence in the middle, posting 9.9 boards/game on the year. WVU’s two losses on the year have come against #1 Gonzaga and #3 Kansas, so they are ready for a test at OU.
Sooners Have Had West Virginia’s Number Lately
Oklahoma has also matched up with some quality competition so far this season, falling 69-67 last time out against #13 Texas Tech. The Sooners other loss this season came against Xavier, who is ranked #20 in the coaches poll. Both squads are ready for a showdown in the NCAAB West Virginia at Oklahoma pick.
What the Sooners really need Saturday is a bounce back game from Brady Manek, who had just 2 points on 1-7 shooting in the loss to the Red Raiders. That was easily the season low for the Senior who is putting up 14.6 ppg. Victor Iwuakor did grab 10 rebounds off the bench in the loss to TTU, an intangible that could be huge against a thinned WVU front court.
Oklahoma can take some solace into the matchup with the #8 team in the nation knowing they’ve beaten them three of the last four, including twice last season as underdogs. The OU defense clamped down in holding WVU to a 60.5 scoring average last year, but the Sooners will feel the loss of graduated Sr. Kristian Doolittle, who had 27 and 19 points vs. the Mountaineers last season.
Free NCAAB West Virginia at Oklahoma Pick
The Sooners are favored for a reason, and OU does have a definitive advantage with over 10,000 fans in attendance at their last home game. A WVU win wouldn’t be a surprise at all, but Oklahoma had the formula last year against the Mountaineers and should be able to find it again.
Oklahoma 69 – West Virginia 62
Free Pick: Sooners -2