Big 12 College Basketball Picks: #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys at West Virginia Mountaineers

#11 Oklahoma State Cowboys at West Virginia Mountaineers
WVU Coliseum – Morgantown, West Virginia

Saturday, January 11, 2014, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big 12 Net, MASN, Altitude
Opening Line: Oklahoma State -5 1/2
Current Line: Oklahoma State -5 1/2
Opening Total: 
Current Total: 
Opening Money Line: OSU -215 / WVU +182
Current Money Line: OSU -235 / WVU +195

Oklahoma State is a 5.5 point favorite on the road at West Virginia Saturday in Big 12 action.
Oklahoma State is a 5.5 point favorite on the road at West Virginia Saturday in Big 12 action.

The 13-2 Oklahoma State Cowboys are 1-1 in the Big 12 as they travel to the 10-5 West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday. The Mountaineers are 2-0 in the Big 12. West Virginia is tied for first in the conference with Iowa State and Kansas State both also 2-0 early in Big 12 play.

Oklahoma State leads the series 2-1 against West Virginia. The schools became conference rivals last year when West Virginia moved from the Big East to the Big 12. The Cowboys won both meetings last season by 14 points in Stillwater and by 16 in Morgantown.

Oklahoma State is coached by Travis Ford. The Cowboys have losses to Memphis in a tournament in Orlando and last Saturday at Kansas State in the Big 12 opener. Both losses were by 5 points or less.  OSU has key wins over Memphis at home, at South Florida, over Purdue and Butler in the tournament in Orlando, South Carolina in Stillwater, Louisiana Tech in Oklahoma City, Colorado in Las Vegas, and last Wednesday at Texas 87-74. The Cowboys are 6-5 ATS and the total is 7-4 this season.

OSU is outscoring teams 86-65 this season. The Cowboys are #12 in scoring nationally and #55 in points allowed. Oklahoma State shoots 49.4% from the field and 37.8% from 3 point range. The Cowboys are #16 in field goal percentage and #64 in 3 point shooting nationally. OSU makes 71.4% of their free throws. Cowboy opponents are shooting 37.9% from the field and 28.8% from 3 point range. OSU is #13 in field goal defense and #26 against the three. The Cowboys are averaging 37.7 rebounds a game and allowing 33.1. Oklahoma State averages 15 assists, 8 steals, 6 blocks, and 10 turnovers per game, and opponents average 10 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 15 turnovers per game.

Oklahoma State has one of the best back-courts in the nation with Marcus Smart and Markel Brown. Smart is projected to be a top five NBA pick in June’s draft. He averages 17.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.7 steals a game. Brown averages 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game. Forward Le’Bryan Nash averages 13.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Guard Phil Forte III averages 12.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Guard-forward Brian Williams averages 8.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Stevie Clark averages 6.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals a game. He was arrested for possession of marijuana on New Year’s Day and was suspended for the Kansas State game. He did play against Texas though. Forward-center Kamari Murphy averages 5.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Forward-Center Michael Cobbins is out for the season with a broken foot. He averages 4.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

West Virginia is coached by Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers have home losses to Gonzaga and Purdue, along with road losses to Virginia Tech and Missouri and a loss to Wisconsin in Cancun. WVU has key wins over Duquesne, Old Dominion in Cancun, Marshall and William & Mary both in Charleston, at TCU and 89-86 in overtime at Texas Tech last Monday. West Virginia has won 3 straight games. The Mountaineers are 6-6 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.

West Virginia is outscoring teams 81-69 this season. The Mountaineers are #32 nationally in scoring. WVU is shooting 46.8% from the field and 39.8% from 3 point range. The Mountaineers are #32 in three point shooting nationally. WVU makes 69.4% of their free throws. West Virginia opponents are shooting 41.6% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. The Mountaineers average 37.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.2 per game. West Virginia averages 15 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 10 turnovers per game. Opponents average 12 assists, 5 steals, 3 blocks, and 14 turnovers a game.

Guard Eron Harris averages 18.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard Juwan Staten averages 16.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Terry Henderson averages 11.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Forward Devin Williams averages 9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Forward Remi Dibo averages 7.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Gary Browne, Nathan Adrian,  Brandon Watkins, and Kevin Noreen will also get significant minutes. Forwards Elijah Macon and Jonathan Holton are both out for the season or indefinitely.

Oklahoma State is 7-3-1 ATS in Saturday games, 2-5 after a straight up win, 7-18 against teams with winning records, 6-17 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 0-5 against teams with a home winning percentage above .600, in road games, and against teams with winning home records.

West Virginia is 4-1 ATS overall, 4-9-1 in Saturday games, 12-27-1 against teams with winning records, 8-22-1 against teams with a winning percentage above.600, 4-12-2 after a cover, 2-6 against Big 12 teams, 6-21-1 at home, 1-4 against teams with a road winning percentage above .600, and 2-8 against teams with winning road records.

Both of these teams like to run, and they both score in the low 80’s. Oklahoma State is much better defensive team though. Neither team has a lot of size, but the Cowboys have more than the Mountaineers. I like OSU to win handily.

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