The season hasn’t gone to plan for either of these teams, but there’s still a chance to end on a high note and West Virginia still isn’t out of the Big 12 title Game conversation. It was a defensive battle the last time these teams met, but it’s hard to see that happening again. Kansas State was a -2.5 point home favorite as of Wednesday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
WVU battled to a 17-16 win last year with the help of 14 Fourth-quarter points in a Game no one could move the ball in. That probably won’t happen again with the Mountaineers giving up 30 points and 448 yards per Game. Kansas State is slightly better, but not by much allowing 423 yards per Game, and more importantly 296 passing yards per Game.
That passing statistic is relevant because quarterback Will Grier, who is completing 65 percent of his passes for 30 touchdowns, leads the Mountaineers. To go with that, he’s thrown for at least 280 yards in every Game this season and should do so again against this defense. The Wildcats aren’t bad, but they aren’t good and haven’t looked great against many teams these this year, failing to separate from the likes of Baylor and Kansas.
While Grier and his receivers are a dynamic package, WVU will still run the ball plenty behind Justin Crawford, who got back on track last week with 100 yards. If Crawford can do that again in addition to Grier, the Mountaineers could be headed for another huge offensive performance. The question is if the defense can do enough against a mediocre offense.
So far, the Mountaineers haven’t stopped anyone, especially on the road, giving up 34 points to Kansas and 36 to Baylor. K State doesn’t have a good offense, but can beat up on weaker defenses as seen in Games against Oklahoma and Texas Tech to name a couple. Quarterback Jesse Ertz is still out with a knee injury, but that hasn’t mattered in recent Games as Alex Delton has done enough to move the ball. Similar to Ertz, Delton is a quarterback that’d rather run the ball than pass, seen in his 342 rushing yards. The Mountaineers allow close to 200 rushing yards per Game, so K State’s run-first approach could do wonders in this matchup, especially at home. Also look for top running back Alex Barnes to get a heavy dose and possibly run it 20 times if all goes well for this offense.
Due to each defense’s weakness pointing to the other team’s strength, this has all the makings for the over, which dropped to 62.5 points in the middle of the week. The Mountaineers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road Games and 6-15-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Wildcats are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home Games vs. a team with a winning road record. In this meeting, Kansas State has covered the last five, while the under has also hit in the last five, which is a reason the over dropped a couple points early in the week.
Our Pick – Kansas St -2.5 AND OVER 62.5