Coming off their first defeat of the season, the West Virginia Mountaineers look to return the favor to the undefeated Kansas State Wildcats when the teams meet for the first time as Big 12 rivals Saturday night in Morgantown (7 pm ET, Fox).
Can Heisman Trophy odds leader Geno Smith and the boys get their offensive high-wire act back up and flying? Can Coach Snyder lead his troops to 7-0? And where is the money to be made on this game?
Earlier this week, most football betting odds outlets opened this game with the Mountaineers at -3, but as of Friday morning that number had been bet down to -2.5. The total was hovering around 72.5 (follow Twitter for line moves and key injury updates).
Kansas State is a perfect 6-0 this season and they are 5-1 ATS. The Wildcats opened with a 51-9 win over Missouri State, trounced Miami-Fla. 52-13, then beat North Texas 35-21. K State then began Big 12 play with a 24-19 upset of Oklahoma in Norman, then crunched Kansas 56-16, and last week won another conference road game, 27-21 at Iowa State.
West Virginia, meanwhile, began this season with a 69-34 rout of Marshall, then beat James Madison 42-12 and Maryland 31-21. The Mountaineers then began life in the Big 12 with that memorable 70-63 shootout victory over Baylor, then upset Texas in Austin 48-45.
But last week WVU had the tables turned on it, losing 49-14 on a windy day at Texas Tech.
So the Wildcats, at 3-0, sit in first place in the Big 12, with 2-1 West Virginia in a four-way tie for second place.
Kansas State likes to move the ball on the ground, and on the season has outrushed foes, on average, by a 249-102 YPG margin.
On the other side of this match-up West Virginia, as you might have heard, like to move the ball through the air, averaging 385 YPG passing. But the Mountaineers defense is also allowing opponents to produce 496 YPG of offense.
K State is a profitable 4-1-1 ATS this year, while West Virginia, despite its offensive prowess, is just 2-4 ATS.
These two programs haven't met since 1931.
Free Pick: West Virginia will try to throw the ball all over the field, but K State is solid in so many aspects, and we love Coach Snyder. We'll take the points and the Wildcats for Saturday. (courtesy of PickShark.com)