As the end of July approaches, the start of the 2021 college football season is just about a month out.
The WVU Mountaineers begin their campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, but Kansas gets the Big 12 Conference started off on Friday night.
WVU kicks things off with a road matchup against Maryland. West Virginia sportsbooks already have lines out for the opening week, and they show the Mountaineers as favorites.
At DraftKings WV Sportsbook, the Mountaineers are laying -3.5 in the spread, with a moneyline of -165.
Overall for the conference, WVU is near the middle of the pack, while a familiar side is listed at the top of projections and sportsbooks.
As always, the Oklahoma Sooners own the best odds to win the Big 12 entering the season. With the Heisman favorite under center in Norman, they have reason to be excited this year.
Let’s take a deeper look at the entire Big 12 Conference and how WVU stacks up against the top contenders.
Big 12 Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
WVU Mountaineers 2021 Overview
Neal Brown is starting his third season in Morgantown with higher expectations than in years past. The Mountaineers showed progress under the head coach and got back to a bowl game in 2020.
A disappointing first year saw WVU start to find its footing near the end of the schedule. It won two of its last three to end 2019 and build momentum for the next season.
Despite the madness of everything going on regarding health and safety precautions, the Mountaineers went 6-4 in total, including a Liberty Bowl victory.
The team is returning the same quarterback, junior Jarret Doege, and feels good about what it can accomplish.
During the Big 12 Football Media Day on ESPN, Coach Brown discussed the team’s outlook after some positive results the last few years. According to WVNews, Brown said:
“We were a young team in 2019, and then we lost spring practice and our summer in 2020, but we were able to go from 5-7 with two wins over ranked teams to finish, and then we carried it over into 2020 and went 6-4 with a Liberty Bowl win. We were so close to being an eight-win team.”
WVU’s coach continued:
“We moved from being near the bottom of the league in 2019 to being in the middle in 2020. Now we have to take that step, which is significant.”
The Mountaineers certainly have the opportunity to compete this season, but WV sportsbooks list them with only the sixth-best odds to win the conference.
They’re behind the Sooners, Iowa State, Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU.
DraftKings lists WVU at +2500 to win the Big 12 title game. It also has odds on it to qualify for the conference’s championship tilt at +800.
The online sportsbook set the Mountaineers’ win total at seven for the year.
Even though they may not be ready to qualify for the playoffs just yet, it should be another successful fall in WV.
Big 12 Football Betting Favorites
Oklahoma is again the Big 12’s best chance at a National Champion, according to the odds. The Sooners are looking to snag their seventh consecutive conference title this season and are shown at -180 to do so.
OU is such a large favorite to get through its schedule with a great record that DraftKings has it at -450 to reach the conference final.
As noted, Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler is the preseason favorite to take home the award for the Heisman. He’s available at +800 at FanDuel Sportsbook WV.
Rattler, along with creative play-caller Lincoln Riley, should cause lots of problems for the rest of the teams in the Big 12.
Following a slower start, Rattler got more comfortable as his first season went on. He led Oklahoma to a win over Iowa State to take the conference, then continued his great play in the bowl game.
Rattler accounted for four total touchdowns while throwing for about 250 yards on 14 completions.
One team that should challenge OU is the side it narrowly took down in the title game last December.
Iowa State has its QB returning, too, and should be difficult to beat this season. It has odds of +275 to win the conference and -140 to get back to the title game.
Brock Purdy is under center again for the Cyclones and is one of the better players at the position. He’s available at +3500 to receive this year’s Heisman at DraftKings, which are the 10th-best odds.
Texas and Oklahoma State create the next tier of teams in terms of odds to win the conference. The Longhorns are posted at +300, compared to the Cowboys at +360.
Texas went 7-3 a year ago, while OSU finished at 8-3.
The Longhorns are usually a popular pick; however, this might not be a bad year to fade them. They showcase a new head coach in Steve Sarkisian and a new quarterback with Sam Ehlinger now in the NFL.
The only other team in front of WVU is TCU, offered at +650 for the conference.