Baylor Bears @ West Virginia Mountaineers (10/13 @ 7:00 PM EST)
Line: Baylor -3.5
Baylor vs. West Virginia Breakdown and Betting Odds
This Thursday’s Big 12 matchup sees two teams desperate to get their seasons back on track. The Baylor Bears will be looking for their first-ever win in Morgantown against a struggling West Virginia Mountaineers team. Baylor is a 3.5-point favorite to win, with the over/under set at 54.5 points.
Baylor is 0-5 all-time when playing at West Virginia. They are not alone in struggling in Morgantown, as the Mountaineers have gone 10-3 over their last 13 home games. In their last 6 Big 12 games, West Virginia has gone 1-5. Conversely, the Bears have covered the spread in four of their last six conference games. Both teams have covered three of their five games this season.
The Bears are coming into Morgantown looking to bounce back after losing at home to Oklahoma State last week. Sophomore quarterback Blake Shapen had a career day through the air, but they still lost 36-25 and saw themselves tumble out of the national polls. Despite the loss, ESPN’s FPI ranking still lists them as the 16th-best team in the nation.
The good news for Baylor is that Shapen’s last two games have been his best by far, completing over 70% of his passes for a combined 583 yards and five touchdowns. He was helped last week by the emergence of speedster sophomore Monaray Baldwin. After struggling to find a place in the offense, Baldwin went off last week with 174 yards and two touchdowns. They’re bolstered by breakout running back Richard Reese, who has emerged as one of the top freshmen in the country with an impressive seven touchdowns on the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Baylor is one of the best in the conference. While they’re limiting teams to twenty points per game against a tough schedule, they can’t seem to generate turnovers (five total) or sacks (last in the Big 12).
West Virginia Overview
After losing 38-20 at Texas last week, the Mountaineers find themselves 2-3 overall and still searching for their first conference win. Georgia transfer QB JT Daniels leads them, and he’s been solid this season with 1200 passing yards and eight touchdowns. He’s helped by a very talented group of receivers led by junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who has caught 4 of Daniels’ 8 touchdowns this season.
Unfortunately for West Virginia, they will be without running back CJ Donaldson. After being recruited as a tight end, the Mountaineers moved him to the backfield, where he won the starting job. His presence will be missed, but sophomore duo Tony Mathis Jr. and Justin Johnson Jr. have combined this season for almost 500 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
On defense, the Mountaineers are strong against the run but have struggled against the pass all season. Like Baylor, they also struggle to generate turnovers and rank last in the Big 12 in defensive efficiency.
TakingVegas.com 1* Pick: Over 54.5
While both defenses are solid, they’ve been susceptible to giving up big points to good offenses. West Virginia has given up more than 35 points three times this season (Kansas, Pitt, and Texas), and we think that trend continues Thursday night. Combine that with the fact that both teams are averaging over 37 points per game, and you have a recipe for offensive fireworks in Morgantown.
Take the over and tune in to what should be a thrilling Thursday night matchup