The first meeting between two new undefeated Big 12 rivals is one of the most intriguing games this Saturday afternoon (noon ET)featuring two of the most explosive offenses in college football. The 24th ranked Baylor Bears (3-0) travel to Morgantown, WV to take on the 7th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0). Baylor is 1-2 ATS this season, covering their opening game, a 59-24 thrashing of in-state rival SMU to cover a 7 point line, and failing to cover 30 and 8.5 point lines in a 48-23 win over Sam Houston St. and a too close for comfort 47-42 win a Louisiana Monroe.
The Baylor offense has not regressed from last season despite the loss of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, new quarterback Nick Florence (1,004 yards passing, 11 TDs, 4 INTs) has the Bears ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense with 51.3 points per game (5th), total offense with 568.7 yards per game (6th) and passing offense with 361.7 YPG (5th). The Bears defense is another story however, as they rank 90th in scoring defense with 29.7 PPG allowed and a dreadful 117th in total defense with 492.7 YPG allowed.
West Virginia utilizes a spread-offense with their quarterback Geno Smith (1,072 yards passing 12 TDs and no INTs) as the triggerman for one of the hottest offensive units in the country. The Mountaineers rank 10th in scoring offense with an average of 47.3 PPG, and 14th in total offense with 529 yards per game. Coach Dana Holgorsen has a reputation as an offensive guru and astute play-caller, and he has a wealth of weapons at his disposal including Smith and receiver Tavon Austin (345 receiving yards, 5 TDs). The WVU defense is among the worst against the pass with 276.7 YPG allowed (107th among FBS teams), but ranks a respectable 53rd in scoring defense with 22.3 PPG allowed.
Baylor vs. West Virginia Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Baylor Bears +14.5
@ West Virginia Mountaineers -14.5
Over 84 (-110)
Under 84 (-110)
Betting odds taken fromBovada.lv
Baylor vs. West Virginia Pick:
Baylor has gone 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 0-5 in their last 5 road games against winning home teams. West Virginia is 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 home games and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games against winning road teams. The over is 11-1-1 in Baylor’s last 13 games against winning teams, 16-4-1 in their last 21 Big 12 games and 20-6-1 in their last 27 games overall. The over is 6-2 in West Virginia’s last 8 home games and 10-4 in their last 14 games overall.
These two teams are both among the most explosive in the country, and the combination of two of the worst pass defenses in the country with two of the most prolific passing teams in the country should without question make for an exciting and high-scoring game. West Virginia’s combination of home field advantage and a defense that has shown the ability to keep teams out of the end zone gives them the advantage against an unfamiliar opponent, and the Mountaineers have also faced a slightly tougher schedule and have thoroughly beaten the teams that they were supposed to, but the line is just too high to play here. Both teams have been explosive on offense and bad on defense, which creates the perfect environment for a shootout. The call here is to take the over in what should without question be a very exciting game.
PICK = Over 84 **We had an incorrect line posted, but OVER 84 is the play.