It was a disappointing weekend for the WVU Mountaineers and bettors in the Mountain State. After two consecutive wins, WVU fell to Texas this weekend, losing 42-31 in Morgantown.
The result probably ended with a lot of unhappy folks at West Virginia sportsbooks. With the Mountaineers as 10.5-point underdogs, the 11-point defeat also took down a large number of wagers backing WVU.
Though the West Virginia Lottery has not released the betting figures from this past weekend yet, it did just unveil its latest report. While the overall handle didn’t increase from last week, it did have another solid performance with over $6.5 million in bets.
The lack of a WVU game could easily be the reason for the slight lag in WV sports betting growth. It will be interesting to see how much the WVU vs. Texas game impacted books when that becomes available next week.
Ever since online sports betting apps returned to WV, the market has been doing great. Both DraftKings Sportsbook WV and FanDuel Sportsbook have become very popular in the state in a short period of time.
Each online sportsbook should continue to expand as the college football season rolls on. The Mountaineers are back on the gridiron this weekend as they try to rebound at home against Iowa State.
Let’s take a look back at what went wrong last week against Texas and provide a betting preview for WVU’s Week 7 battle with ISU.
WVU football can’t cover
Even though coach Neal Brown and WVU were sizable underdogs entering its matchup with Texas, the team didn’t show it. After receiving the opening kickoff, WVU scored with ease on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Austin Kendall to Sam James.
The opening score had the home fans at Milan Puskar Stadium in a frenzy.
WVU’s fortunes improved even more on the next possession by the Longhorns. After a 16-play drive, the Mountaineers’ defense held strong and forced Texas into a long field-goal attempt.
When Cameron Dicker missed the 42-yarder, it appeared that WVU might have a real chance to actually pull off the upset. Then it all disappeared so quickly.
On the very next play, Kendall threw a bad interception on a ball he forced into zone coverage. Two plays later, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw his first touchdown pass of the day to tie the score at seven apiece.
Although the Mountaineers would score the next touchdown in the game, Texas held a 21-14 lead at the half.
Despite keeping things close through the third quarter, the Mountaineers committed too many mistakes to get a victory on Saturday. Kendall threw three second-half interceptions, gifting Texas multiple scores.
Of course, fans and bettors can be frustrated with the transfer quarterback’s performance, but coach Brown shed a different light on it. According to WV MetroNews, Brown said:
“Quarterbacks get too much credit when things go well and too much blame when things don’t go well. We were in the game offensively because of Austin Kendall. I’m not down on that kid one bit.”
While he was careless with the turnovers, Kendall did throw for 367 passing yards and three touchdowns as well. With the team rushing for less than 100 yards again, it was up to Kendall to try to make some plays.
Texas went on to win by 11, sending the Mountaineers home with a loss and many Mountaineer fans betting on WVU football back to the drawing board.
WVU football predictions
The defeat drops WVU’s record to 3-2 overall (1-1 in conference) as it prepares to host the Iowa State Cyclones this week. It will be another difficult contest for the Mountaineers, as sportsbooks have them listed as 10-point underdogs.
Iowa State will travel to Morgantown with an identical, but deceiving record. It lost to in-state rival Iowa by one and undefeated Baylor on the road by two. Even though ISU is just 3-2, most teams in the country would have issues taking down Iowa at the moment.
Last week, the Cyclones beat TCU with ease, 49-24. Quarterback Brock Purdy led the team in both passing and rushing yards in the blowout victory. He had 247 yards through the air, another 102 on the ground to go with four total touchdowns on the day.
For the season, the sophomore has over 1,500 passing yards and 10 touchdowns against only two interceptions. He also leads Iowa State in rushing, adding 203 yards and 5 touchdowns, too.
Similar to Texas and Ehlinger, the key for WVU is to try to contain Purdy.
Purdy’s favorite target downfield is senior Deshaunte Jones. He has 17 more receptions than anyone else on the team. His 37 grabs are good enough for 13th best in college football this year.
On the other side of the ball, the Mountaineers offensive line will need to try to slow down linebacker O’Rien Vance. He’s got 34 total tackles on the season to go along with 6.5 sacks.
Although Iowa State probably isn’t as good as Texas, this will be a tough game for WVU. After all the excitement and anticipation spent on last week’s harsh loss, it will be curious to see how much the Mountaineers have left in the tank for this one.
If WVU comes to play, it can easily cover and potentially even steal a win. However, if it comes out flat, the Cyclones will score points all afternoon. Hopefully coach Brown will have his squad ready to compete.
WVU football odds
Here are WVU’s odds for this week’s game according to the two WV online sportsbooks available, DraftKings and FanDuel (updated on Oct. 11, 2019, with current WVU football and Marshall odds):
|WVU vs. Iowa State|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||WVU +10.5||53.5||WVU +300
|FanDuel Sportsbook||WVU +10.5||53.5||WVU +300
|Marshall vs. Old Dominion|
|DraftKings||Marshall -15.5||47||Marshall -835
|FanDuel||Marshall -15.5||47||Marshall -740