NCAAF Free Pick: West Virginia Gets Week 1 Nod Over Virginia Tech

 West Virginia Mountaineers

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 3, 2017 1:12 PM GMT

Two new quarterbacks are part of the mystery in Week 1 when the Virginia Tech Hokies are favored on the NCAA football odds against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Their campuses sitting about 250 miles north and south of each other, the West Virginia Mountaineers and Virginia Tech Hokies will instead travel about the same distance east to renew their rivalry at FedExField in Maryland on the opening weekend of the 2017 campaign. The prime-time contest on Sunday, September 3 will be televised by ABC, and college football bettors have a range to choose from for the spread. 5Dimes is listing the Hokies -3½, with 4-4½ point spreads also available.

This year’s meeting will end the second-longest drought in the rivalry after last colliding in 2005. West Virginia owns a 28-22 advantage in the series, another game ending deadlocked, and most of the matchups came while the schools were Big East foes. Virginia Tech came out on top the last two clashes, that ’05 battle resulting in WVU’s only loss of the season.

 Can Grier & Spavital Take WVU Offense To Next Level?

Dana Holgorsen watched his Mountaineers fly out of the gate last year with sins in their first six games, and though they only managed to cover the college football odds once in September, things were looking up when West Virginia cracked the top 10. What followed was a lopsided loss at Oklahoma State and another beat-down at home to Oklahoma that ended any Big 12 title hopes.

There will be a change under center where Will Grier appears ready to take the field once again in what has been a tumultuous college career that began at Florida. He sat on the sidelines last season and all indications are Grier and new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will team up to lead a WVU offense that ranked 17th last year in total yards but only 49th in scoring. Defense is probably where most of the questions arise for the Mountaineers in 2017, especially the secondary where several transfers are expected to vie for playing time.

 

Fuente Looks To Build On Big 1st Year At VA Tech

It isn’t easy to replace a legend like Frank Beamer, but Justin Fuente and his staff made the transition look easy last season when the Hokies won the ACC Coastal Division on their way to a surprising 10-win season. Miami is favored to take that distinction away this time, and Florida State is the clear favorite overall, but Virginia Tech is still a respectable +650 on the college football futures odds to win the conference.

Like West Virginia, the Hokies also have to deal with a new quarterback where redshirt freshman Josh Jackson is the favorite to succeed Jerod Evans. Don’t discount junior transfer AJ Bush, however, who appears to have picked up the system in rapid fashion. Tailback Travon McMillian is back, but there will be plenty of new faces behind Cam Phillips on the wide receiver depth chart.

You never know what you’re going to get from two programs that experienced so much turnover from last season, and especially with two new signal callers on offense. I’m liking Grier to come out slinging, though, and will take the points for my free college football pick.

Free MLB Pick: West Virginia +4½Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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