Sports bettors in West Virginia are having a pretty good month with another WVU Mountaineers win this past week and the return of online sports betting.
In week 4 of the college football season, WVU topped the Kansas Jayhawks 29-24 in Lawrence. While the win was massive for WVU and first-year coach Neal Brown, the point differential ended up being fairly significant to some.
Those who bet on the Mountaineers at WV sportsbooks likely had a -4.5-point spread and a winning day thanks to WVU’s five-point victory.
The Mountaineers big road win against Kansas comes at the perfect time as the boys from Morgantown enter their first bye week of the season. They have a tough test ahead of them and will need as much time as possible to prepare before 11th-ranked Texas comes to town.
Let’s review what went right this past weekend and look ahead at some WVU football predictions.
WVU football: A look back
After a slow start to the season, it seemed like the Mountaineers might have some trouble winning games in 2019. Through two weeks, WVU just escaped with a win against FCS James Madison and got upended by 31 points at Missouri.
The last two weeks have been vastly different.
Despite being touchdown-sized underdogs, the Mountaineers took down NC State by double digits at home a week ago. In week 4, WVU football hit the road to open their Big 12 schedule, they beat the Jayhawks by five to improve to 3-1 on the early season.
Although it wasn’t the prettiest game, coach Brown understands that results are the only things that matter. According to the WV MetroNews, he said:
“Good win. First road win. I’m proud of our young group. We didn’t play our best, but we found a way. You’ve got to find a way to win on the road. You’ve got to grind it out… we showed good poise here today.”
While his team’s play wasn’t spectacular, it was good enough to get a victory on the road against a conference foe. Any team in the country would take that.
A win against Kansas won’t change the outcome of WVU’s season, but it can certainly build confidence and hope. With the heart of its Big 12 schedule coming up, WVU will take every win it can get.
Although Kansas used to be considered an easy matchup for everyone else, the Jayhawks are trending up under new coach Les Miles. They will prove to be an annoyance to even the top contending teams like the Sooners and Longhorns.
WVU covers the betting spread
The Mountaineers did just enough on Saturday to get the win for themselves and bettors. WV online sportsbooks, while picking the Mountaineers to win, predicted a close game and maybe even an upset.
Even though they didn’t light up the scoreboard, quarterback Austin Kendall and the offense maintained possession for nearly 38 minutes and made enough big plays when they needed.
Kendall passed for 200 yards and the team rushed for 192 more for a balanced attack that brought a lot of similar success last week.
Though the yardage might not have been the best, the team excelled at some of the most important parts of the game. WVU was especially strong on third downs, converting 9-18. It also didn’t commit any turnovers.
Along with being smart with the ball, the Mountaineers had some huge plays that shifted the game’s momentum.
Following a forced three-and-out by the WVU defense, Kendall was able to move the ball 51 yards in just 49 seconds to get into field-goal range. Evan Staley hit a 37-yarder to give the Mountaineers a 10-7 halftime lead.
In the second half, it was two touchdown runs by senior Martell Pettaway that sparked the offense.
After not playing at all against NC State, Pettaway took his first carry of the game 23 yards into the end zone to increase the WVU lead to 10. Then, later in the fourth quarter, he finished an 11-play drive for his second score of the afternoon.
Coach Brown hoped inserting his upperclassman would make a difference. According to ESPN, he said:
“The two touchdown runs he had were big-time plays. Martell had a good week of practice and that’s the kind of guy he can be.”
The win will close out the month of September for the Mountaineers. They’ll take their 3-1 record into a bye this week, before hosting Texas on Oct. 5.
WVU football predictions
WVU is at the least matching its fans’ expectations for this college football season. The 3-1 start is certainly something to be proud of, however, it could change very quickly moving forward.
With the nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns on the schedule next, WVU will need its current bye week to get ready.
Texas will enter the game in Morgantown with an identical record, as it doesn’t have a game this week, either. The Longhorns are coming off a 36-30 victory against Oklahoma State. Texas’ only loss came at the hands of 6th-ranked LSU.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger leads the Longhorns. The junior is one of the top players in the country and has shown it so far this season. He’s passed for more than 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns in the opening month.
The WVU secondary will have plenty to handle in wide receiver Devin Duvernay as well. He’s recorded 39 receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns in Texas’ first four games.
Duvernay isn’t the only Longhorn wideout who can cause headaches, though. Both Brennan Eagles and Jake Smith each have four touchdowns through the air in 2019.
The matchup will undoubtedly be one of the most difficult WVU has this season, but that difference should be represented fairly at sportsbooks. While there is no line currently out on the game, WVU backers should expect to receive around 20 points in this game.
Being at home will help the Mountaineers, but Texas is good enough to contend for the conference title and will be favored as such. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, WVU has around a 25% chance of winning.
Coach Brown and company will need to play a perfect game in order to have a chance of actually taking out the Longhorns. With a sizable spread and a thunderous home-field advantage, the Mountaineers could be a great pick to cover, however.
|September 12, 2020||Eastern Kentucky||W: 56-10||MSN, 100.9
|September 26, 2020||at Oklahoma State||MSN, 100.9
|October 3, 2020||Baylor||MSN, 100.9|
|October 17, 2020||Kansas||MSN, 100.9
|October 24, 2020||at Texas Tech||MSN, 100.9|
|October 31, 2020||Kansas State||MSN, 100.9
|November 7, 2020||at Texas||MSN, 100.9
|November 14, 2020||TCU||MSN, 100.9
|November 28, 2020||Oklahoma||MSN, 100.9
|December 5, 2020||Iowa State||MSN, 100.9|
|December 12, 2020||Big 12 Championship||MSN, 100.9|
WVU football betting odds
Gamblers now have access to both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook right on their mobile devices and the Mountaineers are helping make it a profitable start.
The return of mobile betting apps, as well as the college football season, has revitalized the WV sports betting market.
The overall betting handle was up over $6 million again as the betting action continues to hit new levels in the state. Revenue figures were strong again, too, pulling in six figures for the sixth consecutive week.
Wagering in WV shouldn’t be slowing down anytime soon, either. Both William Hill and PointsBet plan to launch betting apps in the near future.
Even though they’ve missed the beginning of the college and NFL seasons, there is still plenty of football to be gambled on.
WVU has a bye for week 5 of the college football season. Odds aren’t yet available for WVU’s week 6 game against the Texas Longhorns. We will update this post when odds become available.