Auburn at West Virginia Prediction - Basketball Picks 1/28/23

West Virginia Mountaineers (12-8) vs Auburn Tigers (16-4)

Game Info: Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm (WVU Coliseum)

Betting Odds: West Virginia Mountaineers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 142.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Auburn Tigers will head up to Morgantown to face the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Big 12/SEC Challenge from the WVU Coliseum on ESPN. West Virginia and Auburn have faced off four times, with each school winning two meetings.

Auburn dropped to 16-4 after losing to Texas A&M at home. The Tigers unexpectedly trailed big early, and could not hold off the Aggies in the second half en route to a 16-point defeat. Auburn is scoring 72.7 points per game, while allowing ppg, and shooting 43.6% from the floor.

Auburn had their -game home win streak snapped abruptly, and they’ll head into the mountains looking to regroup. The Tigers have won seven of their last ten games, and they haven’t dropped back-to-back games all season. Auburn is led by the inside-outside pairing of Wendell Green Jr. and Johni Broome. Green, a 5’11 guard, posted a double-double in the win over SC, and he leads Auburn in scoring (13.9) and assists (4.3). Broome, a 6’10 forward, went for a season-high 27 points against the Gamecocks and he’s averaging 13.3 ppg and a team-lead 8.5 rpg. Two-year starter Jaylin Williams (10.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg) joins him up front.

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West Virginia improved to 12-8 after beating Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Mountaineers avoided the cellar of the Big 12 by handing the Red Raiders a 15-point loss, which marked TTU’s eighth in a row. West Virginia is scoring 77.9 points per game, while allowing 69.2 ppg, while shooting 46.9% from the field. 

West Virginia has been competitive despite the 2-6 start in Big 12 play, but they will face an uphill battle during the second half of the season if they want to return to the Big Dance. Offense has been scarce for Bob Huggins’ squad, and it’s hindered them throughout the season. Former AC guard Erik Stevenson double-doubled in the win over TTU, and he leads WVU in scoring at 13.3 ppg. Former Texas forward Tre Mitchell is averaging an identical 12.9 ppg and a team-lead 5.8 rpg. 

Auburn is 9-11 against the spread this season, with a 12-8 over/under record. West Virginia is 10-10 ATS this year, with a 12-8 o/u record. The Under is 4-0 in WVU’s last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

Two coaching legends in Bob Huggins and Bruce Pearl will face in one of the smaller matchups from the Big 12/SEC Challenge slate, and we should see a contested game. Neither school dominates offensively, but they both tighten the bolts defensively, and I like leaning on that here. The total sits a bit high, and this game should be won on the defensive end. Take the under for the opening game of a massive Saturday slate.

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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