The West Virginia Mountaineers head on the road to battle the #4 Oklahoma Sooners in BIG 12 action on Saturday night. The Mountaineers have momentum after registering a home win against Virginia Tech last week. The Sooners are undefeated after three games. They posted a home win against Nebraska in their previous bout. Oklahoma clobbered West Virginia 52-14 in October of last year.
Mountaineers Top VT, Seek Third Straight Win
The West Virginia Mountaineers are targeting a third consecutive victory. They have rebounded from their week one defeat against Maryland by earning wins against non-FBS opponent Long Island, followed by a 27-21 home win against #15 Virginia Tech last week in a tilt that had WVU favored by 1.5 points. WVU received a few votes but did not find a spot in the AP Top 25 this week.
QB Jarret Doege has been solid in his last two games after struggling in the opener. The senior QB has tossed five touchdowns with no picks in his last two games and has 729 passing yards with a 6:3 TD to INT ratio on the season. Leddie Brown was key in last week’s victory, accumulating 161 rushing yards against a good defense. The senior RB is one of the best in the conference and has 265 yards on the year. Sam Jones leads the way in the air with 166 receiving yards. The Mountaineers' offense was mediocre last season but is clearly improved this year.
The WVU defense was their top strength in 2020 and they came up big against VT last week, conceding only 329 total yards. The rush defense has especially stood out, ranking 34th overall while the pass defense is 61st. The Mountaineers are averaging 39 points in three games, ranking them 32nd overall. They are allowing an average of only 17 points, good for 31st in the FBS.
Sooners Win Close Battle Against Nebraska, Improve to 3-0
The #3 Oklahoma Sooners have their biggest challenge of the young season in this one. They have performed as expected in their non-conference schedule, winning all three games. The Sooners were labeled huge 22.5 points favorites in a 23-16 home win over Nebraska last week. They have covered in just one of their three games.
Sooners’ QB Spencer Rattler is one of the top QB’s in the FBS. The sophomore QB is considered a top NFL prospect. He posted a 28:7 TD to INT ratio in his freshman season and has 761 passing yards accompanied by a 7:2 TD to INT ratio this season. Oklahoma will split the carries between Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray. Brooks has been stellar, amassing 210 yards on an average of 6.2 yards per rush attempt.
Watch for Marvin Mims in this one. The sophomore WR has brought in 168 receiving yards and will be targeted heavily. The Oklahoma offense is considered one of the best in the FBS however they weren’t very convincing last week. This matchup will present a challenge against a good defense.
The Sooners defense is solid but can be solved. The pass defense is a bit of a concern. They surrendered 289 passing yards last weekend and now stand down at 90th overall against the pass. The rush defense is stellar, ranking 21st in the country. Oklahoma is scoring an average of 46.3 points, landing them sixth in the FBS. They are limiting foes to only 17 points, good for 33rd overall.
The West Virginia Mountaineers are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
The Oklahoma Sooners are:
- 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games against West Virginia.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Oklahoma is one of the top squads in the FBS and for good reason. They have a star QB in Spencer Rattler who is going to be a top NFL pick. Rattler has connected on at least 70% of his passes in all three games this season. WVU will give up yards in the air, ranking 61st against the pass.
Furthermore, West Virginia doesn’t have the offense to keep up with the Sooners. Former Bowling Green QB Jarret Doege has tossed three picks in three games and has only completed 60% of his pass attempts. WVU will struggle to generate yards on the ground against an Oklahoma rush defense that is holding foes to 83.3 rushing yards, good for 21st in the FBS. WVU only scored 24 points against Maryland in week one and they won’t score enough to keep this one close.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect this total to go under. The Mountaineers' offense isn’t dangerous. They only managed 325 total yards against Maryland and have only scored 24 and 27 points respectively in their two games against FBS opponents. The Sooners have conceded a total of only 16 points in their last two games. The under is also 8-2 in the Mountaineers’ last 10 games against a team with a winning record.
In addition, the West Virginia defense is their greatest asset. They limited a ranked Virginia Tech squad to only 329 total yards on 21 points and the Sooners offense only managed 23 points against Nebraska last week. The under is 4-0 in the Sooners’ last four games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the West Virginia team total is worth a look. Jarret Doege only tallied 193 passing yards last week and he is in tough against an outstanding pass rush. The Sooners have accrued a remarkable 13 sacks in three games. Oklahoma also has a great rush defense and the Mountaineers running game has only averaged 3.8 yards per carry this season.
Half-Time Total Bet
I expect points to be at a premium in this one, especially in the first half. Oklahoma’s first-half defense has been stellar, allowing only three points in the opening half in their last two games. Also, the Mountaineers' first-half defense has been terrific as well, holding their foes to an average of only 13.5 points in their two games against FBS opponents.