Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#373 West Virginia -4.5 vs.
#374 Kansas 55
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 4:30pm EDT
Memorial Stadium, Lawrence
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#373 West Virginia University
#374 University of Kansas
2-1
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1-1-1
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1-2
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23
26
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The Kansas Jayhawks will host the West Virginia Mountaineers in a Big 12 clash Saturday afternoon from David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Mountaineers recorded a big 44-27 home win over NC State in their previous action, and the Jayhawks tallied a 48-24 upset road win against Boston College last week. The Mountaineers registered a 38-22 home win against Kansas last season.

West Virginia Wallops NC State in Big Win

The West Virginia Mountaineers concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with two wins. They opened with a 20-13 win against James Madison of the FCS in week one, followed by a terrible 38-7 road loss to Missouri last week. The Mountaineers offense exploded in a big 44-27 home win against NC State last week in a matchup that had WVU as seven-point dogs. QB Austin Kendall collected 272 passing yards last week, and he has thrown for 669 passing yards with a 6:3 TD to INT ratio in three games. The junior QB saw very limited action the last two seasons with Oklahoma. Kennedy McKoy struggled in the first two games with only 12 rushing yards, although he rebounded with 66 yards last week. The senior RB led WVU with 802 rushing yards in 2018.

The Mountaineers lost their two leading receivers from 2018, and freshman Sam James has fared well in his larger role this season, posting 222 receiving yards in three games. The WVU offense won’t be as potent as last year, although scoring 44 points against NC State is an encouraging sign.

The West Virginia defense came up huge in the second half last week by holding NC State to six points. They struggled on the road in week two against Missouri, and Kansas cannot be taken lightly. The Mountaineers pass defense has been a strength as they stand 29th in the FBS. WVU has averaged 23.7 points in three games, ranking them 93rd in the FBS while allowing an average of 26.3 points, pegging them 78th overall.

Kansas Upsets Boston College

The Kansas Jayhawks enter this one with confidence after taking down Boston College 48-24 on the road last week in a game that had the Jayhawks as 18.5 point underdogs. This comes after a 12-7 home loss to Coastal Carolina in week two. QB Carter Stanley rebounded with a solid performance last week, recording three touchdowns on 238 passing yards. Overall, the senior QB has fared well, recording 586 passing yards with a 5:3 TD to INT ratio in three games. The Kansas running game is a strength with two potent running backs. Khalil Herbert broke out with 187 rushing yards last week, while Pooka Williams Jr. came through with 121 yards. The duo has combined for 577 rushing yards and they should have their way against a weak WVU rushing defense.

“It was a lot of fun to see our hard work and preparation pay off last week,” Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley said. “But win or lose, you have to flush it on Sunday. It’s a new week and it’s up to us to see what we can do with it.”

Andrew Parchment continues to excel, accumulating 19 receptions for 235 yards in two games. The Jayhawks offense was not sharp in their first two games, but they responded with a spectacular effort at Boston College last week, and they are up against a subpar defense in this one.

The Kansas defense is looking good. While they allowed 447 total yards last week against Boston College, they limited them to only 21 points. They will give up yards on the ground which is countered by a pass defense that rank 42nd in the FBS. Head coach Les Miles has his team back on track with last week’s upset win and they should bring that momentum into their conference opener. Kansas is averaging 26.3 points, placing them 86th overall, while conceding 17.7 points, positioning them 37th in the FBS.

“The guys have accomplished to a point,” Miles said, “and now it’s about the next things we set our sails on doing. I certainly like where we’re at and I think our team will really be motivated to do special things. They understand they’ve done a couple. Now, is there more to it?”

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am siding with Kansas in this contest. Confidence is big in college football, and right now the Jayhawks are very confident after thumping Boston College 48-24 last week. The Jayhawks feature a stellar rushing offense highlighted by two talented running backs in Khalil Herbert and Pooka Williams Jr. The duo has combined for 577 rushing yards in three games, and they will find plenty of holes in the Mountaineers rush defense that stands down at 100th in the FBS.

Furthermore, the West Virginia offense hasn’t been anything special. While they were productive last week, this is a team that only managed a combined 27 points in their first two games against James Madison and Missouri. Kansas was able to limit Boston College to 24 points last week, and I expect a solid defensive performance on their home field.

Prediction: Kansas Jayhawks

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect plenty of scoring in this clash. West Virginia’s rush defense is going to land them in trouble in this game. Moreover, WVU has conceded an average of 33 points in their two games against FBS opponents and the over is a perfect 5-0 in their last five conference games.

In addition, the Mountaineers should do some damage on the offensive side as well. QB Austin Kendall was able to throw three touchdowns against NC State last week, and he is up against a Kansas defense surrendered 447 total yards against Boston College last week. The over is 8-3-1 in the Mountaineers’ last 12 September games, and it should cash again in this one.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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I am going with the over on the Kansas team total. The Jayhawks rushing offense is among the best in the Big 12. The duo rushed for 208 yards against Boston College last week, and as mentioned the Mountaineers are struggling against the run. In addition, Jayhawks’ QB Carter Stanley is quietly playing well, connecting on 70% of his pass attempts and I expect another efficient performance.

Prediction: Kansas Team Total Over

Half-Time Side Pick

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I expect a solid lead at the half. Kansas started great last week by scoring 28 points in the first half at Boston College, and they should bring their momentum into this one. Also, West Virginia has squandered an average of 26 points in the opening half in their two games against FBS opponents which ranks them down at 120th in the country.

Prediction: Kansas
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.