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LSU at West Virginia Betting Line with Pick and Analysis
LSU heads East this Saturday night to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in what will be the Mountaineers biggest game of the year, without a doubt. The rest of their schedule is filled with mediocre Big East opponents, so a win here, against the #2 LSU Tigers and the sky is the limit. LSU is favored by anywhere from -4.5 to -6 points as of this writing. You can monitor the lines with our live odds feed.
In looking at the West Virginia side here, the game has every added motivational factor that you could ask for. A 6 point home dog, playing on Saturday Night before a National TV audience, a revenge game for a 20-14 loss at LSU last year, playing a team ranked higher than you in the polls (LSU is #2, WVA #16). It's like the stars aligning just right.
West Virginia is one Big East team that has proven it can play with the big boys. They knocked off #3 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl a few years back, went toe to toe with LSU last year, beat Auburn in 2008, etc. But the jury is still out on the 2011 edition of WVA football. Beating Marshall and Norfolk state is hardly an impressive feat and they were lucky to hang on for the win last week in Maryland.
LSU meanwhile has passed a couple of tests already. They beat Oregon 40-27 in a high profile week 1 game and bottled up Miss State last week. We mentioned in a previous LSU write up how scary LSU would be if they ever opened it up on offense. The Oregon game had some speculating on just that possibility be we noted that a leopard never changes it's spots, and we were right as we saw in their 19-6 win last week. The Les Miles approach can make LSU a scary proposition as a favorite in a spot like this.
The best way to take advantage of all of the added juice and motivational factors in a spot like this for West Virginia, may be to play the Mountaineers in the 1st quarter and the 1st half. Early on, the crowd and added motivation can have a bigger impact, before the talent eventually takes over.
That's the way we see this one. Look for the Mountaineers to come out fired up with their crowd behind them. An early lead is a good possibility. But as the game goes on, look for LSU to wear them down. LSU has the more balanced attack here, averaging 166 yards per game on the ground and 179 through the air while holding opponents to just 48 yards per game rushing and 160 passing. West Virginia is only averaging 79 rushing yards per game.
Remember, LSU has put these numbers up against Oregon and Miss State while WVA has played two cup cakes and Maryland. The talent should win out here. We also think there's a big coaching edge in Les Miles over 1st year coach Dana Holgorsen. Say what you want about Les, the man wins football games. Also a reflection of the Talent at LSU year after year.
WVA + 1st quarter - lean
WVA + 1st half - lean
LSU -5.5 Full Game
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