West Virginia vs. UCF Prediction, Odds, Key Players for Tuesday, Jan. 23 (Back the Mountaineers)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bets for West Virginia-UCF. 

Jan 20, 2024; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard RaeQuan Battle (21) celebrates vs. Kansas.
Jan 20, 2024; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard RaeQuan Battle (21) celebrates vs. Kansas. / Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
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West Virginia got a resume-building victory when it took out No. 3 Kansas at home over the weekend, 91-85. That win masks what had been a tumultuous start for the Mountaineers in Big 12 play. Prior to knocking off the Jayhawks, West Virginia was 1-3 against Big 12 opponents with a nice win over Texas, but three losses by an average of 20.6 points. West Virginia is 0-2 on the road this season, can it hang as a big underdog against UCF? 

UCF returns from a two-game road trip that saw the Knights beat Texas before being suffocated in a trip to Houston (57-42). 

Here’s a betting preview for Tuesday’s conference clash with a best bet. 

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West Virginia vs. UCF odds, spread and total

West Virginia vs. UCF betting trends

  • West Virginia is 7-11 ATS this season
  • UCF is 10-7 ATS this season
  • West Virginia is 3-6 ATS as an underdog this season
  • UCF is 6-5 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 10-8 in West Virginia games this season
  • The OVER is 8-9 in UCF games this season 

West Virginia vs. UCF how to watch 

  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 23 
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Addition Financial Arena
  • How to watch (TV): Big 12 Network/ESPN+
  • West Virginia record: 7-11 (2-3 Big 12)
  • UCF record: 11-6 (2-3 Big 12)

West Virginia vs. UCF key players to watch

West Virginia

Raequan Battle: The senior guard averages 19.5 points per game but had struggled in Big 12 play before bouncing back in the upset over Kansas. Battle was just 15-of-46 from the field going into Saturday’s home tilt vs. the Jayhawks, but went 7-of-14 for 23 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double. 

UCF

Jaylin Sellers: On a struggling UCF offense, Sellers has been a bright spot this season. The Ball State transfer is tied for third in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.1 points per game and is shooting 85.6% from the free-throw line. Sellers is trying to get right after an abysmal showing against Houston’s top-ranked defense. He went 0-for-7 from the field and 0-of-4 from downtown with all four of his points coming at the charity stripe. He’s been held to single digits twice this season, both times in Big 12 play in double-digit losses. 

West Virginia vs. UCF prediction and pick

UCF’s defense is one of the best in the country and is ranked No. 7 in KenPom in defensive efficiency and carries top-40 marks in effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage and offensive rebounding percentage. 

But can UCF win with margin? This is a matchup of two of the worst scoring offenses in the Big 12. West Virginia has the lowest (68.9 points per game) and UCF is third-worst at 72.8.

Both teams shoot 41.5% as a team, which is tied for worst in the Big 12. UCF ranks No. 292 in 3-point shooting (30.9%) and No. 270 from inside the arc (47.7%) and struggle to pull away at the free-throw line, where they’re shooting just 69.6%. Take the points with West Virginia in a defensive slugfest.  


Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.