Two of the Big 12’s best teams not named the Kansas Jayhawks will meet in Norman on Saturday when the second-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (14-1) host the 11th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers (15-1).
The top-ranked Jayhawks (14-2) suffered their second loss of the season at West Virginia as one-point road favorites, 74-63, on Wednesday and could be giving up their ranking to the Sooners pending this result.
Oklahoma is listed as a six-point home favorite at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark and will try to avoid being the next upset victim of the Mountaineers, who are a perfect 4-0 in Big 12 play.
The Sooners suffered their lone setback at Kansas in triple overtime but beat the spread as seven-point road dogs on January 4. They have won two in a row since then against the Kansas State Wildcats and Oklahoma State Cowboys, although they did not cover either game.
West Virginia’s only loss took place on the road against the Virginia Cavaliers, 70-54, as 4.5-point road dogs on December 8 of last year, with the team currently riding an eight-game winning streak and going 4-4 against the spread during that stretch.
The Mountaineers are 3-3 ATS on the road and will be trying to cover their third straight overall.
The key for West Virginia will be holding Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield in check. Hield ranks second in the country in scoring with 26.6 points per game, and he totaled 21 in each of the two meetings a year ago.
The Mountaineers won the first game between the teams, 86-65, at home as 4.5-point favorites and lost the second, 71-52, on the road as 5.5-point dogs. The Sooners had won five of the previous six meetings both straight up and ATS, according to the Odds Shark College Basketball Database.
Hield scored a career-high 46 points on 13-of-23 shooting (57 percent) in the loss to the Jayhawks, and he has stayed hot in the last two games. He scored 31 against Kansas State and had 26 versus Oklahoma State, making 21 of 31 shots from the field (68 percent), including 12-of-20 (60 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.
The over is 5-1 in Oklahoma’s last six, with Hield averaging 31 points per game.