WVU Football Betting On A Touchdown Underdog And A Backyard Brawl

Written By Chris Imperiale on August 31, 2022 - Last Updated on September 29, 2022
WVU sports betting odds and game preview

College football is officially back, and the WVU Mountaineers begin the 2022 campaign with an important matchup.

The season opener takes place on Thursday night, as WVU faces its rival Pittsburgh in another edition of the Backyard Brawl. Unfortunately for the Mountaineer faithful, WVU enters this contest as a clear underdog.

West Virginia sportsbooks show head coach Neal Brown’s squad receiving a little more than a touchdown in the point spread.

The good news is those around Morgantown don’t need to wait until Saturday for their team to take the field. WVU meets Pitt on Thursday night in one of the few games that evening, with the action airing on ESPN.

This season opener marks the 105th time these two schools will meet on the gridiron, with the last time occurring in 2011. That was the final season both programs were members of the Big East Conference.

Even though Pitt holds the all-time series lead with a record of 61-40-3, WVU earned a victory in the last three meetings. Now after 11 years, the rivalry is back and ready to kick off a new season of college football.

WVU vs. Pitt odds at WV sportsbooks

The opening week in college football is always a little more interesting than the others. Although sportsbook operators set the lines like always, it’s possible the odds could be off just a touch. Until each of these teams plays a few games, we won’t truly know what everyone is working with.

Last weekend’s Week 0 provided a bunch of tight matchups that weren’t necessarily supposed to be.

While this information doesn’t necessarily do anything for the WVU Mountaineers in their first tilt, it could provide some optimism despite the current spread.

Currently, DraftKings Sportsbook WV shows the Mountaineers receiving +7.5 in the point spread. The online sportsbook lists them with odds of +245 on the moneyline, compared to Pitt at -295.

This game’s total is set at exactly 51 points right now.

These two sides feature very similar changes to their respective rosters. Both teams are rolling out a different quarterback from a year ago in Week 1.

Pitt recently named USC transfer Kedon Slovis its starter after losing standout Kenny Pickett to the Steelers in the last NFL draft. The senior played parts of the last three seasons with Southern California, recording his best year in 2019.

That season saw Slovis complete nearly 72% of his pass attempts for over 3,500 yards. He also threw for 30 touchdowns against just nine interceptions.

Slovis was highly regarded as a solid NFL prospect not too long ago, and a successful season with Pitt could enhance his stock once again.

WVU’s new QB shares a story not far off from Slovis’. The Mountaineers will start transfer JT Daniels, who comes to town from Georgia but also played at USC prior to that. The two were actually teammates as Trojans in 2019.

Again, a quality performance from Daniels throughout the season is likely to catapult his name back into the discussion of NFL-capable players. Daniels finished his most productive year with USC back in 2018, throwing for over 2,600 yards and 14 scores in 11 tilts.

WVU football vs. Pitt preview

It might be incredibly obvious, but the quarterback play on Thursday night is likely to determine a lot. If Daniels is efficient and doesn’t create problems for his team through turnovers, then the Mountaineers can certainly come away with a victory.

Even though the Panthers lost a first-round quarterback and an amazing talent at wideout in Jordan Addison, they’ve done well to retool in the transfer portal. With Addison ironically off to USC, Pitt will lean on a few other receivers to carry the load.

One of Slovis’ potential top targets is Konata Mumpfield, who joined the team following one season at Akron. He earned Freshman All-American honors after posting 63 receptions, 751 yards, and eight touchdowns a year ago.

The Pitt receiving corps also includes some useful players who contributed in 2021. Senior Jared Wayne more than doubled his output from the year prior, collecting over 650 receiving yards on 47 grabs.

The sizable wideout showcased his talents a number of times; however, he was often overshadowed by Addison. With more targets available this time around, Wayne is capable of reaching the next level in his game.

These weapons, plus the return of leading rusher Israel Abanikanda, should pose plenty of issues for opposing defenses. WVU will attempt to limit the big plays from Pitt while trying to generate pressure on Slovis.

On the other side of the field, the Mountaineers know they need to score some points to have a shot at winning.

Daniels will look to get the ball out quickly to several solid options on the outside. Both Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Sam James are back following a year in which they each finished with 42 catches and more than 500 yards. They’re likely to receive lots of additional looks this season with the departure of Winston Wright Jr. to Florida State.

Additional online betting odds for WVU-Pitt

Outside of the standard odds available at most WV sportsbooks, there are other ways to wager on Thursday night’s contest.

With DraftKings, residents can place bets on first-half lines, as well as odds for the first quarter. Of course, the spread diminishes slightly for these markets, with it sitting at +4 for WVU for the half and +3 for the opening quarter. You can take WVU’s moneyline at +200 for the first half or +170 for the first 15 minutes of play.

The online sportsbook also highlights several various player props for the top offensive positions. Bettors can put action down on both of the starting QBs and their passing yardage total.

DraftKings lists two very similar totals, with Daniels’ at 243.5 and Slovis’ at 247.5. The over and under options for both are shown at -115.

The online sports betting app, along with several others offered in WV, should give even more options as the start of the game approaches.

Photo by AP Photo/Kathleen Batten
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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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