Every Big 12 Conference matchup is typically very competitive and involves some of the most talented teams in the nation. Week 10 is no different for WVU football.
After taking on Texas and Oklahoma in two of their last three games, the Mountaineers face another stiff test this week as they travel to Waco to play the 7-0 Baylor Bears.
Unfortunately, fans, as well as those who bet on WVU football, have had a lot of disappointment so far in 2019. Since starting 3-1, the Mountaineers have dropped their last three games and are struggling to gain any traction in one of the toughest conferences in college football.
Through four Big 12 contests, WVU has just one win. That victory was over Kansas, which has been regarded as the weakest team in the conference the last few years.
On the other end of the spectrum, Baylor is off to a terrific start to the season. The Bears are undefeated and officially in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 thanks to Oklahoma’s loss this weekend.
Baylor now sits atop the standings as the only school without a conference loss.
Both teams enter this week coming off a bye. Baylor defeated Oklahoma State in its last game, while the Mountaineers lost to OU.
With several top teams losing this weekend, Baylor saw its national ranking improve without taking the field. It enters this week as the 12th ranked team in the latest AP Poll.
Even though the Mountaineers are sizable underdogs, sportsbooks in West Virginia will be filled with betting action and fans come Thursday night.
Despite the return of online sports betting apps, retail sportsbooks like the Mountaineer Casino are thriving during football season.
Let’s examine WVU’s game on Halloween night and take a look at some of the best betting angles available.
Baylor can play
Baylor football isn’t usually regarded as one of the premier programs in college football. This season, the Bears are hoping to change that narrative.
While Oklahoma is still the favorite to take the conference, Baylor has put itself in a great position to have a chance. As the only team without a Big 12 loss, the Bears control their own destiny this year.
Their biggest tests are still to come, though. After WVU, the Bears travel to TCU before hosting Oklahoma and Texas.
Like Baylor teams in the past, this squad can really score points. The offense features a balanced attack around quarterback Charlie Brewer.
Baylor has three players, including Brewer, who have at least 55 rushes on the year. Running back John Lovett leads the team with 446 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
As a whole, the Baylor offense is scoring nearly 39 points and averaging almost 500 yards per game.
If WVU wants a chance at winning the game outright, it will need a fantastic performance from its defense. The Mountaineers have shown that they’re not capable of keeping up with a lot of teams on the scoreboard. It will be up to the defense to slow Baylor down and keep it close.
Disrupting Brewer will be crucial as well. Against Oklahoma State, the junior quarterback completed 13 of 17 passes for 312 yards and a score. He added a rushing touchdown, too.
The Bears offense is tough to combat because there are so many different options. Last week, seven different Bears caught Brewer’s 13 completions.
Baylor is going to inevitably score some points, but if WVU can make it difficult by forcing long third downs, it just might have a fighter’s chance.
WVU football predictions
Like in week’s past, sportsbooks have WVU listed as a multiple-touchdown underdog. It’s receiving 17.5 points at most books in the Mountain State.
Although this might seem like a decent point spread, it’s actually fairly encouraging for the Mountaineers. In their last game at OU, they were getting around 33 points.
In order for WVU to cover or have a shot at winning, it will need to put together several quality quarters in a row. The team has shown flashes of brilliance in every game but hasn’t been able to keep it up for 60 minutes.
In the second quarter against Oklahoma, WVU played the Sooners to a 14-14 tie. In fact, the Mountaineers gained more than half of their total yardage for the entire game on their two scoring drives.
Of course, it’s much easier said than done, but if coach Neal Brown and WVU can sustain that type of play for the duration of the game, then there’s no telling what this team can do.
Hopefully, QB Austin Kendall can be more consistent this week. It was unsure if he would even play against his former school after suffering an injury in the prior game against Iowa State. The week off should only help his recovery.
For the season, Kendall is completing around 64% of his passes, but the offense just isn’t creating enough explosive plays. WVU’s last three offensive touchdowns have come on drives of 14, 10 and seven plays.
Maintaining possession of the ball can certainly help win football games, however, it would be nice if the offense showed it’s capable of scoring quickly. Opposing defenses don’t seem to fear being beaten over the top, which is part of the reason WVU is having so many issues with its run game.
Defeating Baylor outright on the road is a tough task, especially on a Thursday night game. With both teams receiving rest leading up to this one, the Mountaineers are going to have a tough time escaping with a win.
While a victory might be out of reach, covering the spread is not. If WVU can play a complete game, it has more than enough talent to stay within 17 points of Baylor.
As far as the total is concerned, sportsbooks have the number listed around 56 points. If you believe that the Mountaineers can keep the game tight, then the under might be a good play as well.
For WVU to stay in the game, it will have to limit the Bears’ attack and stop this contest from becoming a shootout. It’s not a popular option for most Big 12 matchups, but the under could earn bettors some money this week.
WV college football betting odds
WVU travels to Mclane Stadium in Texas to take Baylor on Thursday. Additionally, the Marshall Thundering Herd heads to the Lone Star State for its meeting with the Rice Owls during a Saturday matchup.
The following are the current odds as of Oct. 31, according to West Virginia’s two online sportsbooks:
|WVU vs. Baylor
|Marshall vs. Rice