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College Football Pick
It wasn't that long ago when West Virginia was the No. 5 team in the country. In fact, it wasn't even a month ago. Now they have lost three straight games and aren't even a Top 5 team in their own conference sitting at 2-3 in 6th place in the Big 12. Oklahoma State was on a three-game winning streak until they ran into the juggernaut known as Kansas State. Each school enters this game trying to find some consistency and a firm footing in the Big 12.
West Virginia opened as 8 point underdogs at 5 Dimes and the game was off the board at times this week due to the status of Oklahoma State QB Wes Lunt. After three straight non-covers as favorites, bettors have now realized that the Mountaineers offense isn't enough to win or even keep up with opponents. This may be a blessing in disguise though, as WVU is 0-6 against the spread in their last six games as favorites but have covered in their last two games as underdogs. Oklahoma State has covered in two straight home games as favorites, winning easily against TCU and Iowa State.
Once considered the top Heisman candidate, Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith has finally come back to Earth. After his hot start, Smith has failed to complete over 66% percent of his passes in three straight games. Also in that stretch, he only has five TDs and three INTs. Sure, his 29-3 TD to INT ratio looks nice for the season, but when facing a solid defense, not so much. This falls right in line with Stedman Bailey's falloff at wide receiver. He only has 12 grabs for 120 yards in those three games. He was averaging close to 10 catches for 100 yards through the first five weeks. Tavon Austin has kept things going, but mainly because he's more of a slot man for Smith. Their running game has been a problem all season and it's even worse when the passing game isn't working. Lead RB Andrew Buie only has 89 yards on 21 carries in his last two games.
The Cowboys were looking improved on defense until they had to face Collin Klein. Prior to that, they held TCU to just 14 points. Still, earlier in the season they gave up 59 and 41 points to Arizona and Texas, respectively. There should be some holes in that defense for Smith to find.
Currently Oklahoma State QB Wes Lunt is listed as doubtful due to a concussion suffered last week. Normally, when a team gets down to it's #3 QB, it becomes a problem. But that doesn't appear to be the case here. Clint Chelf came in to the Kansas State game with 9:47 left in the third quarter and led the Cowboys on drives of 54, 80, 54 and 72 yards. Which is a good thing, because our model predicts a 17 to 21 point Oklahoma State win. So we'll lean towards the Cowboys here but won't touch this one in the real world simply because West Virginia has shown the ability to score buckets of points and that alone makes them a very dangerous underdog. Opinion only - Oklahoma State -7.5