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Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia (-3)
We are about to witness meeting No. 3 between these two teams. This is going to get interesting. The first meeting was an 87-84 win for West Virginia and the second an 85-80 victory for Oklahoma State in both team's previous game (March 6).
Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele are both suiting up for the Big 12 Tournament as both players and their team are cleared. The Cowboys were facing NCAA sanctions, but with no decision made by the NCAA, Oklahoma State will avoid a postseason ban for the time being.
Cunningham became the fourth freshman in Conference history to earn Player of the Year. He averaged 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game in 22 of the team's 25 games. The star freshman was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Cunningham led the team in points and steals per game, while Likekele led the Cowboys' in rebounds (6.9) and assists (3.7).
Likekele is an all-around stud averaging 9.8 points and 1.1 steals per game too. Rondell Walker (8.3 PPG) and Avery Anderson III (11.1 PPG) have proved to be scoring threats, along with Kalib Boone (9.9) and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (9.4). Without Cunningham and Likekele, the Cowboys handled the Mountaineers in the last meeting, so them getting +3 is right up my alley.
Both West Virginia and Oklahoma State enter this matchup 7-3 SU (70%) over the last 10 games. Oklahoma State has lost to Baylor (81-70), Kansas (78-66) and TCU (81-78) in that span. West Virginia dropped contests to Baylor (94-89 OT), Oklahoma (91-90 2 OT) and Oklahoma State (85-80).
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West Virginia's defense has been a problem as of late. The Mountaineers allow 82.0 points per game in the last three, the 24th-most in the nation. Stretching back previous last 10 games, WVU's average points allowed is 75.0 per game.
Against Oklahoma State in the previous meeting, the Cowboys only attempted 14 three-pointers and scored 85 points on 1.16 points per possession. In the first meeting, Oklahoma State shot 6-of-25 (24%) from three and 25-of-41 (60.9%), putting up 84 points on 1.12 points per possession.
If Oklahoma State shoots the three well or at all, I like a cover here. The Cowboys rank 24th in adjusted defensive efficiency (91.4). Oklahoma State scores 55.0% of their points from two-point range (52nd) on the season. West Virginia allows opponents to score 53.3% (87th) of their points inside the three-point line against them and 61% at the rim.
Expect another close contest between the two and with this being Cade Cunningham's only Big 12 Tournament, I favor the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has also covered in seven-straight games and West Virginia has failed to cover in three consecutive per NBC Sports Edge Tools. The Cowboys are +3.5 (-110) on PointsBet with a +145 ML.
Game Pick: Oklahoma State +3.5 (1u) - playable at +3
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