Baylor-West Virginia Betting Preview: Can Mountaineers Defense Get Enough Stops?

Baylor-West Virginia Betting Preview: Can Mountaineers Defense Get Enough Stops? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Will Grier

Baylor at West Virginia

  • Odds: WVU -13.5
  • Over/Under: 67.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1

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West Virginia and Baylor both come off bye weeks after tough loses — Baylor had a chance to beat Texas but came up short, while WVU got smacked by Iowa State and gained fewer than 200 yards of total offense.

Despite getting only 40% of bets in this game, Baylor has accounted for the majority of total dollars wagered (52%) thus far. As a result, the Bears have fallen from +14.5 to +13.5.

As for the total, it’s risen from 63 to 67.5 behind 78% of bets and 94% of dollars.

Trends to Know

By Evan Abrams

In WVU quarterback Will Grier’s career, he has played in four games after a loss, including Week 1 this season off an injury last year.

Grier after a loss: 4-0 SU and ATS, 17 TD, 2 INT

His coach hasn’t been as successful, though.

Dana Holgorsen is only 13-19 ATS after a straight-up loss with West Virginia. And with at least 10 days between games, Holgorsen is 5-15 ATS. He’s one of the worst coaches in the country with time to prepare.

When worlds collide and the Mountaineers are off a loss and have at least 10 days rest under Holgorsen, they are 2-6 SU and 0-8 ATS, failing to cover by 8.9 points per game.

Key Metric

By Steve Petrella

Baylor’s defense hasn’t been great by any measure, but it’s been slightly better against the pass (86th in S&P+) than the rush (109th). That should bode well against West Virginia.

Baylor’s poor numbers against the pass can largely be attributed to the Oklahoma game, when Kyler Murray went 17 of 21 for 432 yards (20.5 per attempt!) and six touchdowns.

You can write that off in most cases as “clearly more talent offense smokes average defense, ruins their season averages.” Except this one. Baylor will be facing the only quarterback in the conference who can match Murray’s talent, and the highest-ranked offense other than the Sooners. The Bears have been fine against bad to average offenses, but got absolutely shredded by the one good offense they’ve faced.

Bet to Watch

By Ken Barkley

The key thing for me in this matchup is the West Virginia defense. It received a lot of hype before the season, and in the first 4-5 games, with strong performances.

But like with most college football talking points, it needs to be asked: “Against who?” Baylor will be, by a pretty wide margin, the second best offense this defense has faced.

The first was Texas Tech, which scored 34 points, had a chance to tie it late, and didn’t get a lot of breaks in the game in general. Even Iowa State’s offense was able to grind out yards and make plays when it had to in the upset two weeks ago.

In order to back West Virginia at such a big number, you have to think the Mountaineers can win an incredibly high-scoring game (in my opinion). I think it’s possible there is some correlation with the Mountaineers -13.5 and the over in a parlay, but my favorite bet on this game would be Baylor because I think the Bears will score so frequently.

The Pick: Baylor +13.5