West Virginia vs Baylor Picks and Predictions: Bears Can't Scale Mountainous Spread

The Baylor Bears are the superior team, but that 14-point spread is worrisome for an offense that hasn't fired on all cylinders during conference play. West Virginia has struggled but its solid defense keeps it close, as we highlight in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2022 9:00 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Taz Sherman West Virginia Mountaineers NCAA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Baylor hosts West Virginia in an opportunity for the Bears to right the ship after Saturday’s 87-78 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. West Virginia also suffered defeat, falling 77-68 to Arkansas to make it five straight losses for the Mountaineers.

The first meeting in Morgantown resulted in a 77-68 Bears victory. Will Baylor win by a larger margin this time around at home, or will West Virginia keep things close?

Check out our best free college basketball betting picks and predictions for the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Baylor Bears on Monday, January 31 to find out.

West Virginia vs Baylor odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The line has remained steady at the opener of Baylor -14. The total has dropped a point from 137.5 to 136.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

West Virginia vs Baylor predictions

Predictions made on 1/31/2022 at 8:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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West Virginia vs Baylor game info

Location: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX
Date: Monday, January 31, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

West Virginia at Baylor betting preview

Injuries

West Virginia: James Okonkwo F (Doubtful).
Baylor: LJ Cryer G (Questionable), Langston Love G (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Bears are 1-4 against the spread in their last 5 home games. Find more NCAA betting trends for West Virginia vs. Baylor.

West Virginia vs Baylor picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

Baylor is among the upper crust of the Big 12, while West Virginia has been faltering after five straight losses and has some tough questions to answer over the rest of the conference schedule. Baylor is the deserved double-digit favorite after winning by 11 in the initial meeting at Morgantown but covering large spreads in conference play is not always an easy task.

The Bears haven’t been able to cover the spread at home in recent bouts, going just 1-4 ATS over their last 5 home games. The Mountaineers are notoriously better at home than they are on the road and are just 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games. 

Baylor will be in a hurry to right the ship after falling apart in Alabama. KenPom’s tenth-ranked defense cratered, allowing 87 points on 59% shooting to the Tide. We’re under the impression that the Bears would benefit from some more time off following that let-down performance. This isn’t the time for a quick turnaround Monday game if you're a Bears backer. 

Meanwhile, the Mountaineers are in a tailspin, but they’re a well-coached team under Bob Huggins and are unlikely to bottom out. The spread is the great equalizer, and West Virginia has lost by over 14 points only twice all season. Taz Sherman is one of the best lead guards there is, and Sean McNeil will need to break out of a scoring slump to provide Sherman with some help.

The Mountaineers have held firm defensively, ranking 32nd in KenPom’s defensive efficiency while allowing 65.5 points per game, the 85th best mark nationally. If they keep Baylor from going nuclear offensively, they should be able to keep things close enough to find the cover.

It may not feel good backing the Mountaineers on the road against a hungry Baylor team, but this is an inflated spread.

Prediction: West Virginia +14 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The Mountaineers are much better defensively than they are offensively. They rank 32nd in KenPom’s defensive efficiency but only 112nd in offensive efficiency while playing at an average tempo of 161st.

Baylor ranks fifth in KenPom’s offensive efficiency but also plays at an average tempo of 174th. The Bears were scorching the nets and routinely putting up 85 or more points in the non-conference portion of the schedule, but it's been a different tune in Big 12 play. The Bears have begun to rely much more on a solid defense, allowing only 60.6 points per game, the 22nd best mark nationally.

We believe these teams will come out a little sleepy after suffering defeats over the weekend. Both faltered on the defensive end and will look to fix those issues in this game. Give us the Under.

Prediction: Under 136.5 (-110)

Best bet

This is a sandwich spot for Baylor, who is only two days off a tough loss to Alabama and faces the No. 5-ranked Kansas on Saturday.

The Bears are the better team by every metric, but this is a tough scheduling spot and they’re laying two touchdowns. Give us West Virginia plus the points as they embrace a scrappy, defense-first mindset to find the cover.

Pick: West Virginia +14 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our West Virginia vs. Baylor picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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