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Purdue West Virginia Betting – Mountaineers Find Themselves In Must-Win Mode

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/5/2014 2:17:28 AM

The West Virginia Mountaineers made the 2010 NCAA Final Four. If they don’t beat the Purdue Boilermakers this Saturday, they might not make the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

NCAA basketball betting: Purdue Boilermakers @ West Virginia Mountaineers

Online Betting Odds:

Why To Bet On Purdue

It’s no longer a year in which West Virginia basketball commands the utmost respect… not even at home. Over the previous few seasons, West Virginia’s basketball team has been even better than the school’s football team. A Sweet 16 appearance in 2008 was followed by an NCAA bid in 2009 and then the big Final Four run in 2010. All the while, it’s been extremely hard to take down the Mountaineers in Morgantown and the WVU Coliseum. This season, however, the vibe permeating the WVU program is distinctly different. A middle-of-the-pack St. John’s team – a team that is getting blown up by the Big East’s elite programs – was able to go into Morgantown and knock off West Virginia by 10 points, 81-71. West Virginia is plainly not the same team it was a year ago. The Mountaineers are sorely missing not only the leadership and agility of DeSean Butler (who went on to the pros last spring), but the length and rebounding of spider-man-type defender Devin Ebanks. West Virginia had depth and an abundance of athleticism last year, but now the Mountaineers are a relatively slow and limited team that can’t readily create good shots at the offensive end of the floor. West Virginia has to muck up games with its defense and create turnovers, so Huggins has been scrambling – often in vain – to find solutions for his team.

Why To Bet On West Virginia

The best reason to pick this struggling West Virginia team is that Purdue’s roster isn’t as complete as it was initially expected to be. Yes, this is old news, but it’s still relevant news as tip-off time approaches in Appalachia: Purdue’s best player, star wing Robbie Hummel, is out for the season with an injury he suffered before Purdue’s first game of the fall of 2010. Hummel made Purdue an unquestioned Final Four contender, but now, without Hummel, the Boilermakers simply aren’t as dynamic at the offensive end. JaJuan Johnson is a high-quality big man, and E’Twaun Moore is a very reliable point guard, but there aren’t many more offensive weapons coach Matt Painter can call upon. Purdue is an elite defensive team, but if there’s an opponent that can play a similar style, it’s West Virginia. Bob Huggins places the vast majority of his time stressing defense, not offense. Purdue’s lack of Robbie Hummel on the floor will make the Boilermakers easier to guard. West Virginia can play the same slowdown tempo Purdue likes to play. This game can be dragged into the high 50s or low 60s, and if West Virginia can execute with precision in the final minutes of a close game (slower and lower-scoring games are normally closer games), it can pull off the mild (not huge) upset.

How The Game Will Play Out

This game will be close, and West Virginia’s home crowd will be loud, but Purdue has more proven players and is executing at a higher level. Take the Boilermakers on the road, because this is just not the same West Virginia team we’re used to seeing under Bob Huggins.

Purdue West Virginia Betting Pick: Purdue

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