West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies: Odds, College Football Pick

MORGANTOWN, WV - DECEMBER 03:  Justin Crawford #25 of the West Virginia Mountaineers rushes in open field in the second quarter during the game against the Baylor Bears at Mountaineer Field on December 3, 2016 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Justin Berl/Getty Images

West Virginia is 12-1 straight up and 8-1 against the spread over its last 13 season openers. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, is just 3-6 SU and 1-8 ATS over its last nine openers.

So, the betting trend seems to favor the Mountaineers heading into the renewal of their rivalry with the Hokies on Sunday evening on neutral turf at FedExField in Landover.

College football point spread: The Mountaineers opened as 2.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report.)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 34.6-33.2 Hokies (college football picks on every game.)


Why the West Virginia Mountaineers can cover the spread

Following a mediocre 26-25 run from 2012 to 15, the Mountaineers finished 10-3 last year, 7-2 in Big 12 play. West Virginia started 6-0 last year, and made the top 10, before losses to the two best teams in the league, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, toppled it from contention in the conference race.

This year, while the Mountaineers only return eight starters overall, they include senior running back Justin Crawford (1,184 rushing yards last year). They’re hoping transfer Will Grier, who completed 66 percent of his passes two years ago for Florida before sitting out last season, can fill the void at quarterback.

Why the Virginia Tech Hokies can cover the spread

The Hokies return 12 starters this season from a team that won 10 games, a division championship and a bowl in its first season under new head coach Justin Fuente last year. They also gave eventual national champion Clemson a scare in the ACC Championship Game, rallying to within 23 yards of forcing overtime.

Five starters are back on offense, led by three along the line, and seven starters are back on a defense that held foes to just 341 yards per game last season. Also, in going 8-6 ATS last year, Virginia Tech went 4-0-1 when favored by single digits.


Smart pick

This is one of the better Week 1 matchups, one of only a handful of games with spreads this tight. Talent-wise, these teams are pretty even; Virginia Tech is more experienced, but West Virginia might own the edge at quarterback.

Ultimately, defense will probably make the difference in this game, and the checkmark in that department goes to the Hokies. The smart money on the Vegas lines here gives the short spread with Virginia Tech.


College football betting trends

The total has gone under in four of West Virginia’s last five games against Virginia Tech.

The favored team is 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games in this matchup.

Virginia Tech is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games in Week 1.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.