Thanks to a strong schedule, West Virginia’s NCAA Tournament hopes have not been dealt a brutal blow by a five-game losing streak to open Big 12 play. But the Mountaineers need to start banking some wins, starting tonight with a great resume-building opportunity at home against TCU.
The #14 Horned Frogs (14-3, 3-2 Big 12) and Mountaineers (10-7, 0-5 Big 12) are set for a 7:00 pm ET tip at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, and you can catch the action on ESPN+.
West Virginia had a chance to end the skid at Oklahoma last Saturday, but late missed free throws doomed them in a 77-76 loss in Norman.
It was another tough loss in a rough stretch, but with three home games against current top-20 teams (#14 TCU, #7 Texas, and #16 Auburn) coming up in their next four games, the Mountaineers have the opportunity to erase any damage that has been done.
Will they get the job done tonight against the Horned Frogs? Read on for our TCU vs West Virginia basketball prediction and picks.
TCU vs West Virginia Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 8:30 am ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- TCU +2.5 (-118)
- West Virginia -2.5 (-104)
- Over 149.5 (-110)
- Under 149.5 (-110)
- TCU +112
- West Virginia -134
Will Poor Perimeter Production Trip TCU in Morgantown?
In West Virginia’s first four Big 12 losses, poor shooting was a big issue.
- at Kansas State (lost 82-76 in OT): 26 of 63 (41.3%) FG, 4 of 18 (22.2%) 3PT, 20 of 38 (52.6%) FT
- at Oklahoma State (lost 67-60): 19 of 52 (36.5%) FG, 5 of 18 (27.8%) 3PT, 17 of 28 (60.7%) FT
- vs Kansas (lost 76-62): 20 of 57 (35.1%) FG, 4 of 20 (20%) 3PT, 18 of 28 (64.3%) FT
- vs Baylor (lost 83-78): 23 of 60 (38.3%) FG, 8 of 24 (33.3%) 3PT, 24 of 33 (72.7%) FT
Free throws proved to be costly against the Sooners, as the Mountaineers were just 8 of 16 from the stripe, including just 1 of 4 on two crucial trips inside the final two minutes.
But they were in position to win because they shot better from three (6 of 13, 46.7%) and from the field overall (31 of 55, 56.4%). For the first time in conference play, they shot over 50% on two-point shots, making 59.5 (25 of 42) of their twos.
If they can keep that up tonight, they should again be in position to win, especially if Erik Stevenson can bounce back after scoring just nine points against Oklahoma.
Leading Scorers for West Virginia
- F Tre Mitchell: 13.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG
- G Erik Stevenson: 13.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.4 APG
- G Joe Toussaint: 10.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.9 APG
- F Emmitt Matthews Jr.: 10.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG
However, the Mountaineers are last in the Big 12 in opponents’ field goal percentage (43.4%) and opponents’ three-point percentage (33.9%), and they are next to last in scoring defense (69.4 PPG).
TCU ranks 350th in Division I in three-point shooting (28.8%) and was just 3 of 19 (15.8%) in last Saturday’s 82-68 win over Kansas State.
But the Horned Frogs made 57.7% (30 of 52) of their two-point shots against K-State and are shooting 54.2% (123 of 227) on twos in Big 12 play.
Leading Scorers for TCU
- G Mike Miles Jr.: 19.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.4 APG
- F Emanuel Miller: 14.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.1 APG
- G Damion Baugh: 12.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.2 SPG
- F Chuck O’Bannon Jr.: 8.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG
Miles is shooting only 28.6% on twos, but his shooting percentage has jumped from 38.2% last season to 52.0% this season because he is shooting 63.2% on twos. Miller, who is shooting 48.1% from three, is shooting 58.3% on twos.
That is a major concern for West Virginia, who allowed Oklahoma to shoot 64% (16 of 25) on two-point shots, in addition to 45% (9 of 20) from three.
TCU vs West Virginia Prediction and Picks
TCU vs West Virginia Prediction: West Virginia to win
TCU vs West Virginia Picks: West Virginia ML (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook) & TCU/West Virginia over (Best Value: over 148.5 @ BetMGM)
The Mountaineers are close. Very, very close. Had they made their free throws, they could have survived a strong shooting performance by the Sooners and won in Norman.
TCU had a nice 14-point win against Kansas State on Saturday, which looks even better after the Wildcats beat rival Kansas last night.
But not shooting well from outside puts a lot of pressure on everything else to go well. Against a team that can score, that margin for error decreases even more, and they won’t have the comforts of home to fall back on tonight.
There’s a lot that the Mountaineers will have to do right tonight to win, but after coming so close last Saturday, I think they will finally get over the hump tonight and pick up their first conference win of the season.
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