College Football Picks: Oklahoma State Slips Under Number in West Virginia

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 1:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 1:44 PM UTC

With West Virginia having slipped from the ranks of the unbeaten, they look to rebound quickly and are solid home favorites to do so according to the sportsbooks betting odds.

WagerWeb has West Virginia (3-1, 2-2 ATS) as touchdown favorites over Oklahoma State (5-0, 1-3-1 ATS). This might seem high to football handicappers and those placing college football picks because the Mountaineers are only 7-13 ATS as home favorites under coach Dana Holgorsen. Is it right or is it wrong, let's investigate further.


When Oklahoma State Has the Ball
Coach Mike Gundy has always liked to throw the pigskin around the gridiron and once again he has a capable quarterback to do so in QB Mason Rudolph, who completed 34 of 55 passes for a career-best 437 yards, with three touchdowns in come from behind 36-34 win over Kansas State as home touchdown favorites. Rudolph has very capable pass-catchers in Marcell Ateman and James Washington, both who are off 100-yard games, while David Glidden had eight catches.

The Oklahoma State running game has not been up to usual standards at only 3.7 yards per carry, but this could improve with backs Chris Carson and Rennie Childs returning from injury. The Cowboys will need balance to beat the college football odds in this Big 12 battle.


When West Virginia Has the Ball
West Virginia feasted on three weaker opponents at home and when they needed to elevate game, it did not happen in Norman in 20-point loss to Oklahoma. QB Skyler Howard accounted for four of the Mountaineers five turnovers. While limited talent-wise, Howard believes in his abilities and that confidence was a problem in throwing three interceptions. He needs to read the defense better and have better judgment against better caliber competition.

Otherwise, backs Wendall Smallwood (6.3 yards a carry) and Rushel Snell (4.0 YPC) are toting the ball, with Shelton Gibson, Jovan Durante and Daikiel Shorts the receivers. Gibson is the home run hitter for Howard at 24.3 yards per catch and four touchdowns.


What the Cowboys Have to do on Defense
With Oklahoma State's defense, your eyes are automatically drawn to DE Emmanuel Ogbah, who can be a one-man wrecking crew. The Cowboys defense can put together a couple quick three-outs, then get burned on the next series for a touchdown.

In this contest, they will look to keep everything in front of them and not allow West Virginia to make the big play, which ignites the crowd and the opposing team. Controlled aggression is the best way to put the Cowboys need to play.


What the Mountaineers Have to do on Defense
The job of the West Virginia defense is to take away the Cowboys running game, forcing them to throw on virtually every down. This gives them an opportunity to utilize their talented secondary led by safety Karl Joseph, whose group had a poor showing against the Sooners. What they ultimately want to do is make Rudolph have to throw on third and long and generate a pass rush because the Okie State quarterback will try and force throws.

The 'Teers are holding opposing teams 95 yards below their average, but as stated before, that appears misleading given the competition.


Oddsmakers Numbers and Outcome
Oklahoma State was both lucky and good to slip by Texas and Kansas State the last two weeks and if they play the same way, they lose in Morgantown. For sports picks, still not sold on the idea West Virginia should be this large a favorite and the Cowboys are 15-3 ATS after allowing 17 points or more in the first half in two straight contests. Also, the Mountaineers have struggled versus quality pass attacks and are 5-15 ATS against teams with a completion percentage of 62% or better.

I see this coming down to a three-point outcome either way and will take the points.

College Football Pick - Oklahoma State +7

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