Baylor-WVU Leads Busy Night of Thursday College Football

Monday, October 22, 2018 3:59 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 3:59 PM UTC

Now that the college football season is deep into October, that means weeknights are betting busier. There’s a five-game slate Thursday, led by Baylor at No. 13 West Virginia.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Baylor (4-3, 2-4-1 ATS) at No. 13 West Virginia (5-1, 4-2 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Thursday, 7 PM ET (Fox Sports 1)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: Mountaineers (at -13.5)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=JustBet" rel="nofollow">JustBet</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3448660, "sportsbooksIds":[1275,19,999993,238,169], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Any wiggle room that West Virginia had to reach the College Football Playoff or even probably the Big 12 title game vanished Oct. 13 in a 30-14 loss at unranked Iowa State as the Mountaineers were the last Big 12 team to suffer an overall or conference defeat. WVU dropped from No. 6 to No. 13 in the AP poll.</p><p>Star quarterback Will Grier &amp; Co. could certainly still reach the playoff/Big 12 title game if they win out. That’s going to be tough with games still at No. 6 Texas, at Oklahoma State and home to No. 8 Oklahoma on Nov. 23 to close the regular season. The 14 points vs. ISU were easily a season-low and any chance Grier had at the Heisman went out the window as he threw for just 100 yards and rushed for minus-33 on 10 carries. That’s because he was sacked seven times. WVU was held 375 yards below its season average and was 1-for-10 on third down.</p><p>"That's the worst offensive performance I've seen in my 30 years of coaching," Coach Dana Holgorsen said.</p><p>That Baylor is 4-3 is a credit to second-year coach Matt Rhule, who is cleaning up perhaps the biggest mess in college sports with all that went on under former coach Art Briles. Baylor has played two ranked teams and lost 66-33 at OU and 23-17 at Texas on Oct. 13.</p><p>WVU has been a very different club at home, putting up 52, 35 and 38 points and winning all three games by at least 16. Since 2000, WVU is 117-15 when scoring 30 or more points in a game. I’m guessing that Holgorsen got his guys’ attention during the off week. The Mountaineers have won the past two in the series but by just a combined five points. This won’t be nearly that close. I do recommend an alternate line of -13.5, though, instead of 14. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;This Thursday night... &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#HailWV&lt;/a&gt; &lt;br /&gt;🎟️&lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;October 20, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Around the Country Thursday</h2><p><a href="" rel="nofollow"><strong>Ball State at Ohio (-10.5), 7 p.m. ET:</strong> </a>Ball State comes off a 42-20 home loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday to pretty much end any hopes the Cardinals had of winning the MAC West. EMU started three first-half drives on the Ball State half of the 50 on a very windy day. BSU isn’t a good offensive team, averaging only 25.0 ppg (98<sup>th</sup>). Ohio is still in the hunt in the MAC East and blasted Bowling Green 49-14 on Saturday. Nathan Rourke attempted just 12 passes and completed eight with four TDs. The Bobcats rushed for 392 yards and three scores. They average 208.6 ypg on the ground. These schools haven’t met since 2015. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five. <strong>Pick:</strong> Ohio.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow"><strong>Toledo at Western Michigan (-5), 7 p.m. ET:</strong></a> Western Michigan is tied atop the MAC West at 4-0 with Northern Illinois. The Broncos won at arch-rival Central Michigan 35-10 on Saturday. Quarterback Jon Wassink was just 5-for-9 passing for 51 yards but rushed for a career-high three scores. Western ranks 25<sup>th</sup> nationally in scoring (36.4 ppg). Toledo lost its second straight Saturday, 31-17 vs. MAC East-leading Buffalo. The Rockets were up 10 in the fourth quarter. WMU had a two-game winning streak in this series snapped last year in a 37-10 road loss. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five in this one too. <strong>Pick:</strong> WMU.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow"><strong>Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech (-3.5), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN:</strong></a> It’s ACC action from Blacksburg between the last-place team in the Coastal Division in the Jackets (tied with UNC) and the first-place Hokies. Really no secret to stopping one-dimensional Georgia Tech: Shut down the run. The Jackets rank first nationally in rushing at 352.4 ypg and 27<sup>th</sup> in passing at 101.0. Last time out in a loss to Duke, Georgia Tech was held to 220 yards rushing and lost three fumbles. Virginia Tech ranks among the ACC’s best run defenses in allowing 123.0 ypg. The Hokies are just 2-8 ATS in their past 10 as a favorite in this series and have lost the past three straight-up as such. Georgia Tech is 2-7 ATS in its past nine overall. <strong>Pick:</strong> Virginia Tech.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow"><strong>No. 25 Appalachian State at Georgia Southern (+9), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU:</strong> </a>This is arguably the most important game of the night in terms of in the conference as both Georgia Southern and App State are unbeaten and battling for the Sun Belt East title along with Troy, which played Tuesday. Appalachian State, ranked for the first time in school history, recently suffered a crushing blow when it lost top running back Jalin Moore to a season-ending ankle injury. His college career ends with 3,570 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns. Both these programs are pretty new to the FBS and they’ve met only four times. App State has taken the past three by at least 18 points each. The only other Sun Belt team to ever be ranked was Troy on Nov. 13, 2016. <strong>Pick:</strong> Georgia Southern. It has covered six straight at home.</p>
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