Big 12 College Football Betting Picks: #12 Kansas State Wildcats at West Virginia Mountaineers

#12 Kansas State Wildcats at West Virginia Mountaineers
Milan Puskar Stadium – Morgantown, West Virginia

Thursday, November 20, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: West Virginia -1 (-117)
Current Line: West Virginia -2
Opening Total: 58 1/2
Current Total: 57 1/2
Opening Money Line: West Virginia -130 / Kansas State +110
Current Money Line: West Virginia -130 / Kansas State +110

West Virginia is a 2 point favorite at home against Kansas State Thursday night.
West Virginia is a 2 point favorite at home against Kansas State Thursday night.

Despite losses to two top 15 teams the 7-2 Kansas State Wildcats are still in contention for the Big 12 title. The Wildcats are 5-1 in the conference and tied with Baylor for second behind 6-1 TCU. Kansas State has 3 tough games left starting with a game Thursday night at the 6-4 West Virginia Mountaineers. The Wildcats then host Kansas before traveling to Baylor. If Kansas State wins out and Texas upsets TCU on Thanksgiving then the Wildcats would win the Big 12 title outright. West Virginia is 4-3 and tied with Oklahoma for fifth. Although West Virginia has lost two straight games, the Mountaineers are very dangerous especially in Morgantown. This is a team that beat Baylor and gave Alabama, TCU and Oklahoma all they could handle.

Kansas State leads the series against West Virginia 3-1, including 2-1 in Morgantown. The Wildcats have won 3 straight games against the Mountaineers including 35-12 last season in Manhattan.

Kansas State is coached by Bill Snyder. The Wildcats have a home loss to Auburn 20-14 and at two weeks ago at TCU 41-20. The loss snapped a 5 game winning streak for Kansas State. The Wildcats have home wins over Stephen F. Austin 55-16, UTEP 58-28, Texas Tech 45-13, Texas 23-0, and Oklahoma State 48-14, along with road wins at Iowa State 32-28 and Oklahoma 31-30. Kansas State is 6-3 ATS and the total is 6-3 this season. The Wildcats were 6.5 point underdogs at TCU and the total was 59.

West Virginia is coached by Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers have losses to Alabama 33-23 in Atlanta, home losses to Oklahoma  45-33 and TCU 31-30, plus a road loss at Texas two weeks ago 33-16. WVU has road wins over Maryland 40-37, Texas Tech 37-34, and Oklahoma State 34-10, plus home wins over Towson 54-0, Kansas 33-14, and Baylor 41-27. The Mountaineers are 6-4 ATS and the total is 3-7 this season. West Virginia was a 3 point favorite at Texas and the total was 51.

Kansas State is outscoring teams 36-21 this season. KSU is #20 in scoring and #21 in points allowed nationally. The Wildcats are averaging 423 total yards per game including 265 passing and 157 rushing yards. On defense, Kansas State is allowing 347 total yards per game including 220 passing and 127 rushing yards per game. The Wildcats are #23 in rush defense and #29 in total defense. Kansas State is +5 in turnovers and has forced 13 turnovers. The Wildcats are averaging 32 penalty yards per game and opponents average 53. Kansas State is 62/128 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 53/134. Kansas State has forced 14 sacks and allowed 19 this season. The Wildcats are 41/45 scoring in the red zone with 33 touchdowns, and opponents are 20/26 with 15 touchdowns. Kansas State has allowed a punt return for a touchdown and a pick six. The Wildcats have a punt return, a kickoff return and an interception return all for touchdowns.

Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters has thrown for 2,169 yards with 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, plus he has rushed for 406 yards on 102 carries with 7 touchdowns. Running back Charles Jones has 95 carries for 430 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 5 touchdowns. Running back DeMarcus Robinson has 87 carries for 353 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 62 yards. Joe Hubener has 19 carries for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Tyler Lockett has 60 catches for 878 yards and 6 touchdown catches, along with a punt return for a touchdown. Curry Sexton has 53 catches for 723 yards and 4 touchdowns. Zach Trujillo, Deante Burton, and Kody Cook will also get a lot of targets.

West Virginia is outscoring teams 34-26 this season. WVU is #35 in scoring nationally.   The Mountaineers are averaging 502 yards per game on offense including 318 passing and 184 rushing yards. West Virginia  is #12 in both total and passing offense. On defense, WVU is allowing 385 total yards including 204 passing and 182 rushing yards. West Virginia is #34 in pass defense. The Mountaineers are -13 in turnovers with 22 giveaways. West Virginia averages 59 penalty yards and opponents average 83 per game. The Mountainners are 86/196 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 51/173. West Virginia has forced 15 sacks and allowed 24 this season. The Mountaineers are 32/40 scoring in the red zone with 22 touchdowns and opponents are 23/25 with 17 touchdowns. West Virginia has 2 kickoff returns for a touchdown and 2 defensive touchdowns, and has allowed 3 special teams touchdowns.

WVU quarterback Clint Trickett has completed 68.3% of his passes for 3,173 yards with 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, plus a rushing touchdown as well. Running back Wendell has 128 carries for 585 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 25 catches for 296 yards. Rushel Shell has 127 carries for 560 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 16 catches for 108 yards. Dreamius Smith has 67 catches for 411 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 8 catches. Andrew Buie has 55 carries for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 6 catches.  Kevin White has 91 catches for 1,207 yards and 8 touchdowns. Mario Alford has 53 catches for 710 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 2 kickoff returns for a touchdown. Jordan Thompson has 40 catches for 429 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Kansas State is 6-0 ATS after a bye week, 5-0 after allowing more than 40 points and rushing for less than 100 yards, 6-1 overall, 15-3 after a straight up loss, 5-1 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 4-1 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 7-2 after passing for more than 280 yards, 20-6-1 against teams with winning records, 22-7 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 15-5-1 against teams with winning home records, 36-15-1 in Big 12 games, 12-5-1 in road games, 9-4 in November, and 35-17 on fieldturf.

West Virginia is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 6-13 on fieldturf, 4-10 in Big 12 games, 2-6 after scoring less than 20 points, 5-16 against teams with winning road records, 1-4 after a straight up loss, after failing to cover, and in November, 1-7 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, and 0-7 after a bye week.

West Virginia might have a better record than they do if not for the turnovers. They need to clean up those mistakes against a very good team like Kansas State. Both teams have had a week to think about blowout losses on the road. Morgantown is never a picnic, but I think Kansas State scratches out a win on the road.

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