Thanksgiving College Basketball Best Bets: Look Out For Press Virginia

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 24, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Although many bettors will have their eyes on NFL Week 12 odds during Thanksgiving Day, the college basketball odds board is jam-packed as well. Let’s break down No. 24 Purdue against West Virginia in the 2022 PK85 Invitational for my college basketball best bets.

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Purdue vs. West Virginia: Spread, Moneyline, Total

If you’ve monitored my college basketball power rankings, you may have noticed one of these programs inside of it. Subscribe to the Outside Shots podcast, as Scott Phillips and I dig into all of the upcoming holiday action, including both of the PK85 tournaments.

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How Will Boilermakers Handle Ball Pressure?

Year after year, Matt Painter’s teams scuffle against havoc-centric defenses. Thanks to an inexperienced backcourt, I’m expecting more of the same against Bob Huggins’ press, which has returned in full force.

Not only is this version of the Mountaineers more well-suited for that defensive style than in recent seasons, yet they’ve delivered with a top-15 opponent’s turnover rate (26.9%) as well. They also boast the 17th-ranked Adjusted ShotQuality Defense, taking into account a given team’s strength of schedule.

Granted, matching up with an underrated Wooden Award candidate in Zach Edey () is a tall task. But West Virginia’s post-up defense has held its own so far, and it possesses the bodies to throw at the 7-foot-4, 295-pound big, highlighted by Saint Louis transfer Jimmy Bell.

Related: 2023 March Madness Futures Odds

Which Team Controls The Pace?

Should the above notions come to fruition, the ‘Neers will speed up a Purdue offense, which prefers to operate at a methodical tempo. WVU doesn’t necessarily implement an uptempo attack, ranking No. 241 in average possession length. But it will still push the floor once it generates takeaways.

While the Mountaineers employ their oft-stagnant half-court sets, they’ll need to exploit the Boilermakers’ ball-screen coverage. With the slow-footed Edey on the floor, their defense is very prone to being spaced out by the opposition.

Huggins’ group doesn’t consistently utilize its perimeter shooting, especially after losing Sean McNeil. It’s likely due for some negative regression after a hot start from behind the arc (37.0%), too.

Nevertheless, the Naismith Hall of Famer could go with a small-ball lineup in spurts with two-time transfer (and floor spacer) Tre Mitchell at the five. That would accentuate Edey’s flaw.

College Basketball Best Bets Conclusion

If you’re not already subscribed to our aforementioned Discord betting channel, I backed the ‘Neers. If you’re unable to bet them at +1 or better, try to live bet this game. Good luck with your own college basketball best bets.

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