The Oklahoma St. Cowboys and West Virginia Mountaineers meet on Saturday in Morgantown, West Virginia at Noon ET. According to current college football betting odds Oklahoma St. is an 18.5-point favorite and the total is 57.0. We have seen a huge reverse line move in this contest. The visitors opened up as a 21.0-point chalk and despite 70% of public money being wagered on them, the number has dropped significantly by 2.5-points. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
The Cowboys of Oklahoma St. enter this upcoming game with a perfect 3-0 record and ranked #11 nationally in both major polls.(AP/USA Today) They come off a bye week after pulverizing Lamar at home 59-13 on 9/14. They also handled a pretty good Mississippi St. team in their season opening 21-3 win at Stillwater. The Cowboys are #11 nationally in scoring at 45.3 points per game. Their defense has been solid as well allowing just 13.7 points per game which is good for #17 nationally in that category. Sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh is off to a very efficient start to the season passing for 642 yards and 5 touchdowns with just 1 interception. Walsh has also rushed for 182 yards (7.3 ypr.) and ran for 2 touchdowns.
Goodbye Offense and Hello Defense
West Virginia comes into their conference home opener with a 2-2 record. Last week they were thoroughly embarrassed by Maryland 37-0 as a 3.5-point underdog. After getting off to an impressive 5-0 start in 2012 the Mountaineers are a dismal 4-8 since. Last season’s West Virginia squad was a high octane offense that put up plenty of points but was pathetic defensively. They have gone to the other extreme this season allowing just 19.2 points per game thus far and rank #13 nationally in pass defense. Contrarily the offense is scoring just 18.0 points per game. All this after scoring 42 points or more in 6 of 13 games a season ago.
Both of these defenses have held their own in the early part of the year which is in stark contrast to what we saw a season ago. West Virginia has gone under the total in all 4 of their games this season. The 37-points scored by Maryland last week was a bit deceiving due to 6 turnovers committed by the Mountaineers offense in that contest. The Oklahoma St. starting defense has been terrific in the first 3 games. The numbers were a tad askew in the 56-35 win at Texas-San Antonio after backups allowed 28-points in the 4th quarter. Going into the 4th quarter of that game the Cowboys had a huge 42-7 lead and substituted freely on defense.
College Football Picks: My free pick in this contest is to play this game to go under the total of 57.0.