Both East Carolina and now-unranked West Virginia lost their season openers, although they did it in very different fashion. The Mountaineers are heavy favorites in their home opener to get one in the win column Saturday vs. ECU. But can ECU turn things around in the NCAAF odds? It’s unlikely in this matchup.
East Carolina at West Virginia NCAAF Odds & Expert PickFox Sports GoRadio: WNCT 107.9 FM (East Carolina) / Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (West Virginia)Opening NCAAF Odds: WVU -24 (65.5)
- Clear: 18°C/64°F
- Humidity: 55%
- Precipitation: 1%
- Wind: 6 moh NE
- Cloud Cover: 21%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Series HistoryIn the past, the Pirates were a formidable foe, even though WVU leads the series 18-3. The Mountaineers won the last matchup, 35-20, in Morgantown back in 2009. But in then-coach Bill Stewart’s first season at the helm, 2008, ECU defeated West Virginia by 24-3 in Greenville, North Carolina.
- Total Meetings: 21
- First Meeting: November 7th, 1970. Greenville, North Carolina
- Last Meeting: September 12th, 2009. Morgantown, West Virginia
- All-Time Series: WVU 18-3-0
- Largest Margin of Victory: WVU 49-0
- Longest Win Streak: WVU 8 (1970-1992)
- Current Win Streak: WVU 1 (2009)
Why Bet On East Carolina?ECU was stunned by FCS program James Madison, although a good FCS program, 34-14 last week. The Dukes had more than 600 yards of offense on the Pirates, ran for over 400 yards, and if not for a whopping 14 penalties for 172 yards, the blowout probably would have been worse. Dukes running back Cardon Johnson set a career-high for yards as he rushed for 265 on 17 carries, with touchdown runs of 85 and 80 yards. Marcus Marshall had 10 carries for 94 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown to close out JMU’s scoring in the fourth quarter.Gardner Minshew started at quarterback for the Pirates and played most of the first half, with Thomas Sirk getting in for two plays on ECU’s second possession. Minshew was 7-for- 18 for 82 yards with one interception. Coach Scottie Montgomery then made the decision to go with Sirk in the second half.“This is just something I’ve been planning on, just waiting for my opportunity,”said Sirk, who finished 21-for- 35 for 210 yards with two interceptions. “I didn’t know when my opportunity would come. I didn’t know when they’d call my number, but I didn’t ever want to be they guy who, when they called my number I wasn’t prepared. So, I prepared all week just like I was going to get my opportunity. I went out there and did what I could to try to spark something for the team, try to keep us in it.”Sirk, the Duke transfer, will start here. He joined the Pirates this offseason after a second torn Achilles tendon kept him out at Duke for the 2016 season. Montgomery was Sirk’s offensive coordinator during his only season as the Blue Devils’ starter in 2015.ECU has compiled an all-time record of 6-19 (.240) against current members of the Big 12 Conference. In addition to the Pirates’ 3-18 ledger against West Virginia, ECU is 2-1 against TCU and 1-0 vs. Texas Tech. ECU has never played Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Texas on the gridiron.
Why Bet On West Virginia?West Virginia has posted a 79-30- 1 (.723) all-time mark against current members of the American Athletic Conference. The Mountaineers have faced Temple (24-12), East Carolina (18-3), Cincinnati (16-3-1), Connecticut (7-1), Tulane (4-2), USF (4-3), UCF (2-0), Navy (2-6), SMU (1-0) and Tulsa (1-0). WVU has never played Houston and Memphis in the sport of football. A 30-27 victory over USF in Tampa on Dec. 1, 2011 represents West Virginia’s last matchup against a current AAC opponent.The Mountaineers opened with a 31-24 loss to Virginia Tech to fall out of the Top 25. Travon McMillan’s 3-yard touchdown run with 6:30 left in the fourth quarter snapped a 24-all tie in the renewal of the Black Diamond Trophy game at FedExField.In the final minute, Mountaineer quarterback Will Grier marched West Virginia from its 20 to the Hokie 15, using all but nine seconds of the game clock and burning the remainder of WVU’s timeouts. On second down, Grier eluded pressure and fired a pass to David Sills V in the end zone, but Sills was unable to secure the pass as he was sliding to the ground. The final play was anticlimactic, however, as two penalty flags were dropped on the field as Grier’s pass fell incomplete in the corner of the end zone.The loss spoiled an outstanding West Virginia debut for Florida transfer Grier, who completed 31-of-53 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Justin Crawford added 106 yards on the ground – his sixth career 100-yard rushing performance – on just 13 carries while junior Gary Jennings Jr. led allreceivers with 189 yards on 13 catches. West Virginia outgained the Hokies 592-469.
Latest NCAAF Odds Trends
- East Carolina is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
- East Carolina is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of East Carolina’s last 8 games
- West Virginia is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
- West Virginia is 15-5 SU in its last 20 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 14 of West Virginia’s last 19 games at home