West Virginia is 2-2 straight up in four high-scoring meetings with Baylor since joining the Big 12 four seasons ago but only 1-3 against the spread. The Mountaineers will go off as big favorites over the bumbling Bears in the regular-season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Point spread: The Mountaineers opened as 14.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (view line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 48.2-29.3 Mountaineers (college football picks on every game).
Why the Baylor Bears can cover the spread
Baylor’s is a tough case to make at the moment, considering it has lost its last five games. Last week, playing without their starting quarterback, the Bears fell at Texas Tech 54-35. Baylor actually took an early 7-0 lead on the Red Raiders but gave up the game’s next 34 points. The Bears later rallied to within two scores early in the fourth quarter but could get no closer.
On the evening, Baylor cranked out 634 yards of offense, led by freshman quarterback Zach Smith, who in his second career college start threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. But the Bears also turned the ball over four times and just didn’t have an answer for Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for almost 600 yards and six touchdowns.
Baylor started this season 6-0; if it could just get back to what it was doing then, which was running the ball and playing a little defense, it could keep this one close.
Why the West Virginia Mountaineers can cover the spread
WVU rebounded from that terrible loss to Oklahoma two weeks ago to bounce Iowa State in Ames last week 49-19. The Mountaineers spotted the Cyclones an early field goal but took the lead two minutes later on the first of five Skyler Howard touchdown passes on the day. WVU eventually pulled away, covering as an eight-point favorite on the road.
West Virginia exploded for 613 yards of offense on ISU—272 on the ground and 341 through the air. And pressed into service due to injuries, freshman running back Martell Pettaway tossed off his redshirt and ran 30 times for 181 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers defense came up big by forcing four turnovers, which turned into 21 West Virginia points. At 6-2 in the Big 12 and 9-2 overall, the Mountaineers can’t win a conference title, but they’re still hoping to grab a decent bowl bid.
West Virginia has outgained and outrushed seven of its last eight opponents; Baylor has been outgained in each of its last four games and outrushed by three of its last four opponents. So while the spread on this game is probably inflated by a field goal or so, the smart money at online sports betting sites still likes the Mountaineers.
Baylor is 3-1 ATS in its last four games against West Virginia.
The total has gone over in three of Baylor’s last four games against West Virginia.
West Virginia is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games against teams with winning records.
All college football betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.