On paper this Big 12 conference affair between West Virginia and Oklahoma could be very entertaining. Both teams opened their season with victories over outmatched FCS opponents last week. West Virginia played a tough FCS team beating William & Mary 24-17 but failed to cover as -31.5 point home favorite. This was a basic case of a bad pointspread–William & Mary is an elite FCS team and there was little to suggest they’d ‘roll over’ against their big conference opponent. Oklahoma had a much easier time of it in their opening game winning 34-0 over Louisiana-Monroe, covering the spread as a -22.5 home favorite.
Both teams are having to replace some very important contributors from a year ago. West Virginia gave Oklahoma all they wanted on their home field last season, barely losing 50-49 and covering the pointspread as +10′ home underdogs. In that game they rolled up 777 yards against the Sooners but there’s only one problem–the key contributors to that output were QB Geno Smith (now with the New York Jets), Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey who left for the NFL. The Sooners have to replace their starting quarterback as well as Landry Jones was also NFL bound. Oklahoma entered the season ranked #16 so there’s some expectation that they’ll be able to replace the players they lost.
Neither team has been hugely profitable against the pointspread in recent years. Overall the Mountaineeers are 12-15 ATS since 2011 though they’ve gone 4-2 when getting points as an underdog and 6-2 ATS on the road. On the other hand, they’ve shown a tendency to start the season slowly going 2-6 ATS in September during the past two seasons. Oklahoma is 14-13 ATS during that timeframe including 14-11 ATS as a favorite. They’ve been somewhat overvalued at home during the past two seasons as evidenced by a 6-7 ATS record and an 8-12 ATS record in Big 12 play. Year in and year out Oklahoma has been one of the best programs in college football but in our view the price on this game is just too high–and especially for a Sooners’ team that is still a ‘work in progress’ We’ll take a ton of points with the Mountaineers and look for them to keep this game inside the number.
BET WEST VIRGINIA +20′ OVER OKLAHOMA