At 4 pm ET today. Saturday, January 26, the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-10 Overall, 0-3 Away) take on the #1 Tennessee Volunteers (17-1 Overall, 11-0 Home). The game will be played at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. Our men’s college basketball Volunteers vs Mountaineers pick has Tennessee favored by 14.0 points.
This inter-conference matchup pits the top team in the SEC, as well as the nation, against the last-place club in the Big 12. The Vols are a perfect 6-0 in the SEC, while the one Big 12 win for the Mountaineers was a 65-64 upset of the number one team in the Big 12 and the then seventh-ranked club in the nation, the Kansas Jayhawks. That occurred on January 19. West Virginia is coming off a January 21 loss to Baylor. The final score in that game was 85-73. Ironically, Tennessee’s one loss this season was 87-81 on November 23 to #2 Kansas. Although the Volunteers have won 13 straight, as of late, they have struggled a bit, getting by Alabama 71-68 and beating Vanderbilt 88-83 in OT.
Tennessee is dominant on both sides of the ball. In shooting, they far outpace the Mountaineers. The Vols are better in field goals (50.8%-to-42.1%), free throws (77.0%-to-68.7%), and three-point completions (35.7%-to-31.9%). Tennessee, which is noted for its solid playmaking, is averaging close to 20 APG, while WVU is making 13 APG. On defense, today’s home team is allowing 67.5 PPG, while the visitors are giving up 73.9 PPG. Also, the Vol D is blocking six shots per game, which is two more than the Mountaineers. The two teams are even on rebounds and steals.
Our Volunteers vs Mountaineers pick finds that Tennessee has a sound advantage when it comes to scoring and defensive stats. There’s a good chance they can not only win this game but, also, cover.
Trends and Indicators
Although the Volunteers have not covered in their last two games, they have in six of their last 10 and five of their last seven. This season ATS they are 9-7-1, while today’s opponents are 6-12-1. In their last 10 contests, the Mountaineers have been 4-6 versus the spread. In their past five meetings with Tennessee, WVU is 4-1 ATS. However, they are 2-4 ATS in their last six road games.
A total of 11 times this season, the Vols have outscored opponents by 14 or more points. However, the Mountaineers have just one loss of 14 or more points. That was their 98-67 defeat by TCU. Still, of their 11 wins by 14 or more points, nine of those were at home. We do think that home court will be a factor today. In our NCAAM Volunteers vs Mountaineers pick, we’re giving the Vols an edge here.
Our Volunteers vs Mountaineers Pick – Five Keys
- For WVU, forward Sagaba Konate is out, which means the team’s inside game is weaker than they’d like
- Vol junior forward Grant Williams had 43 points versus Vandy and is averaging 20.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 3.6 APG
- Four Mountaineer players are scoring in double digits; they have to do so today
- Tennessee junior guard Jordan Bone is an able setup man and sound shooter
- WVU guard James Bolden (34.9 3PT%) vs TN forward Admiral Schofield (42.0 3PT%)
WVU at Tennessee Pick
The spread is large. The best you’ll do at this point is Tennessee at -14.0. It started at -15.5. Despite their recent inability to conquer the spread, just about everything point to a major Tennessee home win. Our NCAAM Volunteers vs Mountaineers pick is Tennessee at -14.0. If you can wait a bit in placing your bet on the chance of the spread being a reduced a bit more, then do so. It’d be great to take the Vols at 13.5 or even 13.0. Also, take a look at Ryan’s Hoosiers and Wolverines Big Ten pick. Also, we’ve got the over/under on Kentucky and Kansas.