The WVU Mountaineers had high hopes entering the 2021 season; however, the first two months of the campaign haven’t gone to plan.
They’ve lost three consecutive contests and currently sit at 2-4 for the year. Many of their losses are of a tight variety and were decided in the final minutes.
The last time WVU took the field, this was not the case. They went down to Baylor by 25 points and looked overmatched for the first time all season.
A win this weekend would get coach Neal Brown’s squad back to within a game of .500, but it won’t come easy.
The Mountaineers only have one true victory they can hang their hat on so far. This was their six-point triumph against No. 15 Virginia Tech.
WVU’s only other win came over Long Island University.
Now the Mountaineers sit in the basement of the Big 12, tied with Kansas and KSU as the only teams without a conference W.
With the likes of Texas and Oklahoma State still remaining on the schedule, WVU must take advantage of these winnable tilts.
Let’s break down Saturday’s crucial matchup with the Horned Frogs and examine the odds available at West Virginia online sportsbooks.
Hopefully, WVU’s bye week sorted out some issues it’s been having lately.
One of its biggest concerns is the lack of consistency in the running game. After Leddie Brown and company averaged over 135 yards per game a season ago, things aren’t the same this year.
Through six games, the Mountaineers are in last in the conference in rushing, and by a sizable amount. They’re at just over 110 yards, while the next team in front of them, Kansas, is averaging close to 150 per game.
Three schools exceed 200 yards per game at the moment, including TCU.
Brown owns about half the team’s carries to this point and has 422 yards for the year while averaging 4.4 yards.
More recently, the team is giving backup QB Garrett Greene more looks on the ground. The freshman didn’t see the field in the opener against Maryland, but he’s received at least four carries in every meeting since.
Against Baylor, Greene totaled 55 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. He’s recorded 230 rushing yards with an average of 6.1 per carry overall.
As noted, TCU doesn’t have any problems in this department. Its two leading rushers, sophomores Zach Evans and Kendre Miller, each average over seven yards per attempt.
Both running backs have combined for more than 900 yards and 11 scores thus far.
They get contributions from quarterback Max Duggan as well. He’s run for over 200 yards in the six games to go along with about 1,350 yards passing.
Since TCU is able to run so well, Duggan isn’t asked to do everything. He’s performing at an efficient rate this season, connecting on over 65% of passes and only throwing two interceptions.
When he does pass, Duggan often targets the massive Quentin Johnston. The 6’4” receiver has 19 grabs on the year for 355 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Horned Frogs in each category.
WVU Football Odds At WV Sportsbooks
TCU’s offense performed well last Saturday against Oklahoma. Unfortunately, its defense couldn’t contain new Sooners starter Caleb Williams.
This week, it won’t need to be as perfect. According to DraftKings WV, TCU is giving -4.5 in the point spread, with a moneyline of -195.
Bettors can take the Mountaineers to win outright with odds of +165.
This week’s game total is right around where it’s listed for most WVU contests. The online sportsbook posted it at 56.5 points right now.
Besides the last two games, WVU typically starts faster than it finishes. This leaves the first-half markets as viable options for backers.
The Mountaineers are receiving just +3 for the first half. Their moneyline is available at +150, compared to TCU at -170.
DraftKings shows the first-half total at 28 points.
Instead of putting action on the overall total, bettors can take each team’s individual total. You can wager on TCU’s total of 30.5, or WVU’s number at 25.5.
If you’re considering the over, you may want to act sooner rather than later. The odds for over 25.5 are at -120, while the under is available at -110.
There are additional game props offered, as well.
DraftKings allows you to decide which half will see the most scoring. The second half is slightly favored with odds of -110, whereas the first half is listed at -105, and a draw is +1400.
The Mountaineers need a quality performance this week in the worst way. After this game, they’ll head back home to face a talented Iowa State side.