This wasn’t expected to be a roadblock for West Virginia, but a month into the season and Texas Tech is again a threat in the Big 12. The Mountaineers are still undefeated, but winning on the road is never easy and they’ll need to do that to have a chance to win the conference. They were just -4 point road favorites early in the week with an over/under of 77 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
There will be points in this one, there’s no doubt about that. While Texas Tech surprisingly held OK State to 17 points last weekend, this is still a defense that gave up 47 points to Ole Miss in the opener and 49 to Houston a couple weeks ago. After WVU won 46-35 in this matchup last year despite getting outgained by more than 100 yards, this meeting could have a similar result.
WVU quarterback Will Grier was the big performer in that Game with 352 yards and five touchdowns and he’ll likely be near those numbers again. In the Heisman hunt with 11.76 yards per attempt and already 14 touchdowns in three Games, Grier has carved through the defenses of Tennessee and Kansas State. If the Mountaineers don’t reach 40 points in this Game, it’d be a surprise. The running Game still hasn’t been tested, but Grier and his trio of wide outs should be enough in this contest with Marcus Simms, David Sills and Gary Jennings all with at least 15 receptions and 240 yards (and 10 combined TDs).
The Red Raiders did whatever they wanted in the win against OK State and this will be an interesting test for them since West Virginia wasn’t supposed to have a good defense entering the season yet just held KSU to six points. That said, not many defenses can stop Tech after Alan Bowman threw for 397 yards and they ran for 224 yards in the win against the Cowboys. Bowman, a freshman, has stepped into the role as Texas Tech’s gun slinger and done everything that’s been asked of him including a 605-yard performance against a decent Houston defense.
The surprising thing about last year’s meeting was that Nic Shimonek had 323 yards and Four touchdowns and the running Game managed 190 more yards on 5.8 yards per carry. But in the end, the Red Raiders were left asking what happened as they let a 35-17 lead slip away and Grier absolutely torched them in the second half. That’s the main reason this spread is so close because even when Tech has a down season, it can still compete with teams that have subpar defenses.
West Virginia’s defense is still an unknown and when you have two teams that can put up points with ease, it will always be a back-and-forth contest. And with how these offenses have looked, it wouldn’t be surprising if this were one of the classic Big 12 Games in which both teams combine for 100 points.
The Mountaineers don’t have any relevant trends while the Red Raiders are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and are 2-6 ATS in their last eight home Games against a team with a winning road record. West Virginia has won the last Four meetings, though only covered in the last two.
Our Pick – WVA -3.5