Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns needed to bouncing back in the NCAAF odds after suffering a demoralizing 24-0 shutout loss to Iowa State on Oct. 31. When the Kansas Jayhawks presented the opportunity to do so in Week 10, they gladly took it with open arms, posting a resounding 59-20 home win. Following that victory, they are now hoping to make it two wins in a row when they travel to West Virginia for a hilly task against the Mountaineers in Saturday’s online sportsbook.
That, however, is easier said than done, as the Mountaineers also come into this encounter fresh from a hard-earned 31-26 home win over Texas Tech. This game therefore presents the Mountaineers with an opportunity to secure their fifth home win of the season, one which they plan to fight for zealously. Given the confidence and the winning desires both teams have after crucial wins in Week 10, this hot Week 11 encounter is expected to set Morgantown ablaze with a fiery showdown. Looking to place your wagers on the game? Worry not, as we got you covered with the online college football betting preview prepared for you below.
How To Bet the Longhorns @ Mountaineers NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info
Venue: Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, West Virginia
Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM ET
TV Stream: WatchESPN
NCAAF Lines: Texas (+8.5), West Virginia (-8.5)
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) November 11, 2015
Betting on the West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers are coming into this game full of confidence after dominating the high-scoring Red Raiders for the better parts of their encounter last week. By the time the Red Raiders tried to stage a comeback in the fourth quarter, it proved to be the customary tale of too little too late. To lead their charges in their quest for a fifth home win of the season, QB Skyler Howard (who is completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,875 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions) will need to continue with his surging performances under the center. In the last three games, the QB has completed five touchdown passes.
Howard has however not done it all alone; as he’s been getting tons of support from WVU’s solid ground game that is averaging 220.1 yards per game, led by star back Wendell Smallwood who has 954 yards and six touchdowns this season. In the aerial game, Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante are the top receivers in the team, having combined for 861 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, with Daikiel Shorts Jr. also tallying 22 vital receptions.
The defense has equally been serviceable, led by Nick Kwiatkoski (53 tackles), Daryl Worley (3 interceptions) and Noble Nwachukwu (3.5 sacks). As a concern, though, they have conceded at least 26 points in three of their last four games, a loophole that could be exploited by the Longhorns offense that is averaging of 28.5 points per game.
Even so, the Longhorn defense that is allowing 29 points and 434.2 yards per game, while the Mountaineers defense is allowing 28.5 points and 424.8 yards per game, underlining the fact that there isn’t much difference in the two defensive units. A close encounter could thus be in the offing, especially if the both offenses rise to the occasion.
Betting on the Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns had a win like no other over the Jayhawks, routing them by 39 point and heaping 598 yards of offense in the process. They lead the game from the first quarter to the last, even denying their visitors a scoring chance in the entire third quarter. Quarterback Jerrod Heard looked sharp as he went above 200 yards for the first time since Week 3, with his runners and receivers also chipping in handily for the big win.
To enjoy similar success this week, Texas needs to maintain that sort of sharpness on the offense this Saturday, laboring to start the game strongly as was the case last weekend. This will be very crucial, as the Longhorns have struggled in games where the opposition scores first. Dating back to last season, they have gone 0-11 in games that the opposition has beaten them to get on the scoreboard first, including all of their five losses this season.
Heard, who is completing 59 percent of his passes for 1,040 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, must therefore find a way of helping his team to avoid or respond to such setbacks. This, he can only do, with a strong support from wideouts John Burt and Daje Johnson, who lead the receivers by a combined total of 661 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The rushing game that is averaging 206.8 yards per game—and is interestingly led by Heard with 540 yards and three touchdowns—will also need to step up and avoid overburdening the QB.
Defensively, the Longhorns are led by Peter Jinkens with 67 tackles, while Dylan Haines has a team-best four interceptions with Bryce Cottrell pacing the unit with three sacks. Remarkably, this unit has allowed a total of just 53 points in the last three games and conceded more than 20 points just once in the last four games. This is a significant improvement, given their porous D-line at the start of the season. They must however avoid complacency and gear up for a fierce test, as they face a Mountaineers offense that has scored at least 24 points in four of the team’s last five games.
Texas and West Virginia’s Main Injury Concerns
• Texas: Chris Warren III (Probable), Dalton Santos and Blake Whiteley
• West Virginia: Jared Barber (questionable), Terrell Chestnut (Questionable), and Karl Joseph
Key NCAAF Odds Betting Trends
• Texas is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
• West Virginia is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
• Texas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
• West Virginia is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
• The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Texas’s last 6 games
• The total has gone UNDER in 14 of West Virginia’s last 17 games
My Expert Picks &Final Predictions
The Longhorns have a bad record offensively on the road and this can be a huge factor in this game. Still, the Mountaineers haven’t been firm defensively, hence the Longhorns are likely to get some points out of this game. So simply put, the Mountaineers look good for the win and cover, but Texas should get some decent points to help push the total for a rare OVER.
Free NCAAF Picks: West Virginia Claims both SU and ATS, Total Goes OVER.