West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Texas Longhorns Prediction & Game Preview - 1/1/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Saturday, Jan 01, 2022
Time: Noon ET
Venue: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX
Where to watch: ESPNU

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Texas -8.5
BetMGM: Texas -9.5
Caesars: Texas -10.5

Season record
West Virginia: 11-1
No. 17 Texas: 10-2

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West Virginia - Texas preview and analysis

Recent form
West Virginia: won eight straight; won 82-52 vs. Youngstown State on Dec. 22
Texas: won four straight; won 78-33 vs. Incarnate Word on Dec. 28

It's not often you get the early game in the Big 12 as the Game of the Week in your conference, but we're given that treat Saturday.

The West Virginia Mountaineers will look for a ninth straight win when they visit Austin and take on the No. 17 Texas Longhorns. With the Mountaineers on the cusp of the top-25, a win in the conference opener for both teams would surely vault them into that positioning.

Winning streaks in college basketball are weird. It's hard to analyze whether they're actually legit, or a result of non-conference fodder. West Virginia has taken care of the teams on the schedule, but have sprinkled a win against No. 15 UConn back on Dec. 8 to at least be put in the conversation.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 30-point win over Youngstown State, but this is their first game since Dec. 22; their matchup against TCU on Jan. 3 will be postponed.

Sean McNeil led with 23 points on 8 of 9 shooting in 29 minutes, but had zeros in every other category: rebounds, assists, steals, blocks. Nothing. Talk about understanding the assignment. West Virginia's leading scorer Taz Sherman had 16 points, but struggled shooting on 4 of 12 from the floor. Malik Curry chipped in with 12 off the bench.

West Virginia had been inconsistent against the spread, but WVU has covered in four straight after going 2-3 in the previous five. The Mountaineers were double-digit favorites against Youngstown State and Kent State (-12); the latter was a 13-point win over the Golden Flashes.

Texas has seen more action recently with the Longhorns coming off a 45-point win over Incarnate Word at home. Tre Mitchell and Dylan Disu had 14 points each in just 20 minutes apiece, and the Longhorns made nearly 51 percent of their shots in what was an easy win.

Texas shot just 7 of 26 from 3-point range and only attempted six free throws for the entire game; the Texas defense held Incarnate Word to 26.5% shooting and forced 18 turnovers.

The Longhorns are 1-4 against the spread in their last five, but some of the results have to be taken with a grain of salt. Texas was favored by at least 30 points in three of those games; as 35-point favorites against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and won by 32; they won by 20 against Alabama State while laying 31.5; and 34-point favorites against Incarnate Word. 


The biggest problem for West Virginia is there's no reliable scoring outside of Sherman. If Texas bottles him up, who will step up? McNeil? Maybe Jalen Bridges? West Virginia doesn't have the balanced scoring touch like Texas does, and I think the home-court advantage helps here. Texas by 12

Betting trends

West Virginia is 9-12 ATS in its last 21 road games.

West Virginia is 5-1 ATS in its last six after allowing 60 points or less in three straight games.

Texas is 17-26 ATS as a favorite over the past three seasons, but 35-9 straight up.

Texas is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 after failing to cover in four of five against the spread.

Projected starting lineup

West Virginia:
PG: Kedrian Johnson
SG: Sean McNeil
Taz Sherman
Jalen Bridges
Isaiah Cottrell

PG: Marcus Carr
SG: Devin Askew
Andrew Jones
Timmy Allen
Tre Mitchell

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this West Virginia - Texas prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college basketball projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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