West Virginia Betting Odds Preview
The West Virginia Mountaineers stormed out of the gate with a 5-0 SU record, but when 2012 was all said and done, the Mountaineers finished just 7-6 SU and 5-8 ATS. West Virginia will try to bounce back this season despite dealing with massive personnel turnover on offense.
With QB Geno Smith, WR Tavon Austin, and WR Stedman Bailey at the helm of an offense that averaged 52 points per game over its first five games, it looked like West Virginia was going to outshoot everyone and potentially earn a trip to the BCS National Championship Game. But the offense sputtered against stronger defenses and the defense was consistently awful, leading to a total collapse and a 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS record over the final eight games of the season.
All but four starters are gone on offense, including all of the big playmakers named above. Junior Paul Millard and freshman Ford Childress will compete for time at quarterback, and while both have solid strengths, neither will be able to produce at Geno Smith’s level. Losing all three starters on the interior of the offensive line could hurt too. Any team coached by Dana Holgorsen is going to put up plenty of points, but the offense will take a step backwards after averaging 39.5 points per game last year.
Can the defense be any worse? West Virginia finished 117th in the country in points allowed surrendering 38.1 points per game and second-to-last in passing defense allowing 327.1 passing yards per game. The Mountaineers had no answer at all for opposing Big 12 offenses, and even in a conference where just about every team has defensive issues, this one stood out as the worst.
West Virginia exceeded expectations in 2011 with a 10-3 SU record and a blowout win in the Orange Bowl, and then failed to meet expectations last year. Expectations are low again in 2013; does Holgorsen have any tricks up his sleeve?
Big 12 Conference Odds at 5Dimes as of August 11
Oklahoma State +260
Kansas State +1600
Texas Tech +2500
West Virginia +2500
Iowa State +4500