West Virginia vs. Texas Odds, Picks: Saturday College Football Big 12 Betting Preview
Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images. Pictured: Keilan Robinson & Jordan Whittington (Texas)
- West Virginia and Texas face off in a Big 12 college football battle between two teams with two losses on the season.
- The Longhorns were thought to be "back" after giving Alabama a run, but they lost to Texas Tech last week.
- Brad Cunningham breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet.
West Virginia vs. Texas Odds
A pair of 2-2 Big 12 teams square off in Austin in a crucial conference clash.
West Virginia has steered its season in the right direct after starting 0-2, and got a well deserved win in Blacksburg last Thursday.
The Big 12 is wide open after both Oklahoma and Texas lost last week, so every game has become vitally important to deciding who will be playing in the Big 12 Championship game.
After all of the preseason hype, I regret to inform you Texas is not back. The Longhorns fell for the second time this season, losing a heartbreaker in overtime in Lubbock despite having an 84% post-game win expectancy.
However, it looks like Quinn Ewers may be returning pretty soon, so the Longhorns may have a second half resurgence on their hands.
JT Daniels has been solid in his new home in Morgantown. Through four games, he has a 77.6 PFF passing grade and is averaging 7.2 yards per attempt.
He does have one of the best receivers in the Big 12 to throw to, as Bryce Ford-Wheaton has become his go-to receiver and is commanding 33.83% of the targets.
Ford-Wheaton already has 319 receiving yards and four touchdowns with a 78.4 PFF receiving grade.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton = a DB’s worst nightmare pic.twitter.com/zWBQQ4rSc7
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 2, 2022
The biggest question for West Virginia in this matchup is if it can keep a clean pocket for Daniels.
Texas has the sixth-best pass rushing grade in the country, per PFF. Daniels' yards per attempt go from 7.8 in a clean pocket to 4.7 when under pressure.
West Virginia brought back just four starters on the defensive side of the ball. Two of those starters reside on the defensive line in Dante Stills and Taijh Alston.
They have buoyed West Virginia against the run because the Mountaineers are 29th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and are only allowing 3.4 yards per carry.
The WVU linebacking corps got completely gutted after last season and lost its top six tacklers. It was very evident how inexperienced the linebackers are against both Pitt and Kansas, as FBS opponents have gashed West Virginia for 5.6 yards per play.
Not to mention the Mountaineers are also 91st in Finishing Drives Allowed.
The Mountaineers' secondary has had a lot of struggles after bringing back just one starter from last season.
The unit has allowed a whopping 8.2 yards per attempt against FBS opponents. It ranks 108th in EPA/Pass Allowed, 78th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 104th in terms of coverage grade, per PFF.
The question for Texas surrounds Ewers' availability. It was announced after the Alabama game that the earliest he could return is Oct. 8. But he dressed for the game against Texas Tech last weekend, and some of his teammates might be hinting at an early return.
Texas TE Ja'Tavion Sanders was asked if he feels like Quinn Ewers is ready to go this week:
"I feel like he is honestly. Quinn's a tough player for sure. I feel like if he was to come back this week, he's gonna be ready for sure."
— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) September 26, 2022
Whether it's Ewers or Hudson Card under center, this Texas offense should be able to break off a lot of big plays.
Bijan Robinson did have a dull game against Alabama, but he's already averaging 6.1 yards per attempt, has an 82.4 PFF rushing grade and has posted 11 rushes of 10-plus yards.
West Virginia's front seven ranks 118th in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed, so Texas should break off some big runs.
Throwback to Bijan Robinson stiff arming the entire West Virginia defense two years ago. pic.twitter.com/6NHuy4ncD9
— Hook'em Headlines (@HookemHeadlines) September 27, 2022
The Texas passing attack has actually been pretty average with Card playing 2.5 games. The Longhorns sit 73rd in Passing Success Rate and 65th in EPA/Pass, but are going up against a West Virginia secondary that is below average.
Of course, if Ewers returns, it will be a massive boost to Texas' offense.
Texas has been really good in the front seven to begin the season. The Longhorns are seventh in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, allowing just 3.5 yards per attempt.
They also have a top-10 pressure rate in college football.
While the front seven has been good at stopping the run from a Success Rate standpoint, they are 104th in Explosive Rushing Allowed, which is bad news against West Virginia, which is 33rd in Rushing Explosiveness.
The Mountaineers' running backs already have 19 runs of 10+ yards.
There are also problems with the secondary because the Longhorns are 87th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 88th in EPA/Pass Allowed. Daniels should be able to throw all over this Texas secondary.
West Virginia vs. Texas Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how West Virginia and Texas match up statistically:
West Virginia Offense vs. Texas Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Texas Offense vs. West Virginia Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||52||45|
|Seconds per Play||26.0 (52)||25.3 (38)|
|Rush Rate||52.1% (78)||52.5% (75)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
West Virginia vs. Texas Betting Pick
Texas plays at an above-average pace of 24.8 seconds per play, whereas West Virginia plays around the national average.
However, if the Mountaineers fall behind early, they're going to be forced to play at a faster pace, which will allow them to throw the ball at a weak Longhorns secondary.
I have 68 points projected for this game, so I like the value on over 63 points, which is available at DraftKings.