College Football Picks: Bet Kansas St. (+6.5) vs. West Virginia

Willie Bee

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 7:52 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 7:52 PM GMT

West Virginia is favored on the road this week, but Kansas State is yearning for its sixth win to go bowling. Join us for a preview and a free college football pick for the Big 12 tilt.

Unlike a year ago when the Big 12 was a mess with co-champions, everything has already been decided with Oklahoma standing on top of the heap. The Sooners will be providing a little extra holiday cash for those bettors savvy enough to get on them at 5/1 to win the conference back in August, and now they'll hold their collective breath this weekend to see if they're among the quartet heading to the College Football Playoff.

There still remains some unfinished business in the Big 12 despite Oklahoma already staking claim to the title. A half-dozen teams are currently eligible to go bowling, and the Kansas State Wildcats would like to make it seven with a win over the West Virginia Mountaineers this Saturday in Manhattan.

The college football odds don't much like K-State's chances in the 4:30 PM (ET) boot at Bill Snyder Family Stadium with FOX Sports 1 bringing the action into your living room or nearest sports bar. West Virginia is currently running 6½ point chalk after opening a point lower. While the spread has been climbing in favor of the Mountaineers, the total has been dropping. The scoreboard tally started at an even 60 before dropping to 58 at BetOnline.

Kansas State will be looking to extend an 83 year win streak against West Virginia, though that is a bit misleading with the teams only playing three times since 1931. The Wildcats have won all three of those games since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12, however, including two on the road while covering the spread each time. All three meetings as conference foes failed to reach the total.

 

Mountaineers In Search Of 5th-Straight Win
If not for that pesky month of October, West Virginia (7-4 straight up, 5-6 against the spread) would be enjoying one helluva' season. The Mountaineers faced four consecutive ranked teams -- Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU -- with three of the contests on the road, and proceeded to lose all four games by an average of more than 20 points.

November proved much kinder as WVU bounced back from the skid with 4-straight victories, the last three cashing college football odds tickets. Dana Holgorsen's offense is second only to Baylor in the Big 12 averaging more than 240 yards per game on the ground, and the Mountaineers are second behind Oklahoma State in turnover margin, collecting a conference-best 21 takeaways against 19 combined fumbles and interceptions. The defense is also second to Oklahoma in total yards allowed (393.6) and scoring (23.1 ppg).

The irony about the strong running game is Holgorsen's comment in his weekly press conference that he expected this team to be pass more with junior Skyler Howard under center. Pass protection and run blocking might suffer a bit this week with starting guard Adam Pankey questionable due to an injury.

 

String Of 5-Straight Bowls On Line For K-State
Kansas State (5-6 SU, 5-5-1 ATS) also endured a winless month of October, then extended that string into the first two weeks of November to put itself in such dire straits to pick up that magical sixth win of the season. Three of the setbacks were games the Wildcats could have won, losing by two on the road at Oklahoma State before falling by a touchdown at home to both TCU and Baylor.

The two losses that really hurt were on the road to Texas and Texas Tech, the Wildcats offense failing them against the Longhorns and the defense proving very porous vs. the Red Raiders. Kansas State is coming off a nice win a week ago in Lawrence as 20 point road chalk vs. Kansas, but WVU will be a much better team than the Jayhawks the Wildcats faced last Saturday.

There is a slight chance of rain Saturday in Manhattan where the high is expected to be in the mid-50s. Of bigger concern is a South wind, forecast right now in the 12-15 mph range. That could affect the kicking game, and both sides have very good special teams capable of returning kicks. My free college football pick will be taking the points and the 'Cats.

College Football Picks: Kansas State +6½ at BetOnline

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