The Baylor Bears and the West Virginia Mountaineers are set for the holiday season, and they are going to duke it out in NCAA basketball betting action on Friday night in Hawaii, where they will face off against each other in the biggest game that either has played all season long.
The Mountaineers had themselves a heck of a battle last night against the Missouri State Bears. The game was tied at the end of the first half and the second half, and only on the graces of a fantastic defensive effort in overtime was the team able to come out with a narrow two-point victory. It was the fifth straight win for WVU, and it was the second in that stretch that came in overtime. The ‘Neers have underachieved this season with a few losses that they really should have never endured, and this is going to be a great test against one of the better teams in the Big XII before having to start off the wild Big East season next week. Keep a very close eye on Kevin Jones, as he played every second of the 45 minute game last night against the Bears. He was held down to 16 points and 13 boards, which is a bit of a cry from his 20.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. When he is on his game, Jones is one of the best forwards in the nation, and he is doing a great job some far on this season of shooting the ball, knocking down 55.9 percent of his shots.
Baylor’s duel last night against the St. Mary’s Gaels was impressive as well, as it was able to take care of a good team by 13 points on this neutral court. The Bears haven’t played much of a schedule this year, and this is really their first game against a legitimate Top 25 team on the campaign. The most difficult games to date came on the road against the Northwestern Wildcats and on the road at the BYU Cougars. At least those games, as we mentioned, were road games, thus get a lot more credit. Four players scored in double digits last night for the Bears, and that’s really nothing new. Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy get all of the accolades, but this is a team that is as deep as could be. Case in point: Jones played 36 minutes, but there wasn’t another player against the Gaels that even played 30 minutes, which will leave the Bears a heck of a lot more fresh for this game than the Mountaineers will probably be.
West Virginia Mountaineers @ Baylor Bears Keys: This one is simply going to come down to heart and character. It’s not quite the emotion of a conference tournament, and it’s nowhere near the NCAA Tournament, but whichever team has the heart to grit through this situation will probably win. Both teams have to be tired, and both have to be waiting for the holidays to begin and are a long, long ways away from home.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.