Big 12 College Football Betting Picks: #16 West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Longhorns

#16 West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Longhorns
Saturday, November 12, 2016, 11:00 am Eastern, TV: FS1
Royal Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
Opening Line: Texas -1
Current Line: Texas -1 1/2
Opening Total: 64 1/2
Current Total: 64
Opening Money Line: Texas -125 / West Virginia +105
Current Money Line: Texas -125 / West Virginia +105

Texas and West Virginia meet in a key Big 12 contest Saturday in Austin.
Texas and West Virginia meet in a key Big 12 contest Saturday in Austin.

The 7-1 West Virginia Mountaineers travel to the 5-4 Texas Longhorns in a key Big 12 contest Saturday. West Virginia is in third place in the Big 12 behind 6-0 Oklahoma and 5-1 Oklahoma State. Texas is 3-3 in conference and tied for fifth with TCU and Kansas State.

West Virginia leads the series 3-2 against Texas, including 2-1 in Austin. The Mountaineers won 38-20 last year in Morgantown.

West Virginia is coached by Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers have home wins over Missouri 26-11, Youngstown State 38-21, Kansas State 17-16, TCU and Kansas 48-21 last week. West Virginia has a neutral site win over BYU 35-32 in Landover, MD plus a road win over Texas Tech 48-17. The Mountaineers lost at Oklahoma State 37-20. West Virginia was a 31.5 point favorite against Kansas and the total was 53.5. The Mountaineers are 3-5 ATS and the total is 3-5 this year.

Texas is coached by Charlie Strong. The Longhorns have home wins over Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime, UTEP 41-7, Iowa State 27-6 and Baylor 35-34, plus a road win at Texas Tech 45-37 last week. Texas lost at California 50-43, Oklahoma State 49-31 and Kansas State 24-21, plus a neutral site loss to Oklahoma 45-40. The Longhorns were -2.5 point favorites  against Texas Tech  and the total was 85.5. Texas is 6-3 ATS and the total is 4-5.

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West Virginia is outscoring teams 33-21. The Mountaineers are #20 nationally in points allowed. WVU averages 511 yards per game on offense including 287 passing and 224 rushing yards. The Mountaineers are #10 in total offense and in the top 30 in passing and rushing nationally. On defense, West Virginia allows 394 yards per game including 246 passing and 148 rushing yards. The Mountaineers are +1 in turnovers with 13 takeaways. West Virginia averages 55 penalty yards per game and opponents average 62 per game. The Mountaineers are 58/121 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 62/144. WVU has forced 13 sacks and allowed 14 this season. The Mountaineers are 34/40 scoring in the red zone including 21 touchdowns and opponents are 26/31 with 14 touchdowns.

Quarterback Skyler Howard has completed 65.1% of his passes for 2,293 yards with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 79 carries for 247 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Running back Rushel Shell has 103 carries for 503 yards with 5 touchdowns, plus 11 catches for 94 yards. He is probable with a leg injury. Justin Crawford has 95 carries  for 587 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 11 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Kennedy McCoy has 43 carries for 386 yards plus 4 catches and a touchdown.

Receiver Daikel Shorts has 46 catches for 678 yards and 4 touchdowns. Shelton Gibson has 31 catches for 636 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Ka’Raun White has 36 catches for 406 yards with 2 touchdowns. Jovon Durante has 25 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown. Six defensive players are on the injury report.

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Texas is outscoring teams 37-33 this season. Texas is #28 in scoring but #103 in points allowed nationally. The Longhorns average 507 yards per game on offense including 258 passing and 249 rushing yards. Texas is #12 in total offense, #17 in rushing and #40 in passing nationally. On defense, the Longhorns allow 465 yards per game including 271 passing and 194 rushing yards per game. Texas is #112 in total offense and #109 against the pass. Texas is even in turnovers with 13 giveaways. The Longhorns average 68 penalty yards and opponents average 59 per game. Texas is 65/154 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 68/161. The Longhorns have forced 34 sacks and allowed 18 this season. Texas is 35/41 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns, and opponents are 31/37 with 22 touchdowns.

Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele has completed 61.9% of his passes for 2,257 yards and 19 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 67 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Tyrone Swoopes comes in for a few snaps in the big 18-Wheeler package. He has thrown for 66 yards and an interception, but has 50 carries for 160 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns.

Running back D’onta Foreman has 206 carries for 1,446 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 44 yards. Chris Warren III has 62 carries for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Kyle Porter has 39 carries for 187 yards. Running backs Kirk Johnson and Roderick Bernard are also out indefinitely with knee injuries.

Receiver Armanti Foreman has 33 catches for 414 yards and 3 touchdowns. Devin Duvernay has 13 catches for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dorian Leonard has 17 catches for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Burt has 16 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Jacorey Warrick has 22 catches for 231 yards and 2 touchdowns. Former quarterback Jerrod Heard has 18 catches for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Jake Oliver has 23 catches for 280 yards.

West Virginia is 4-1 ATS after scoring more than 40 points, 2-5 after a straight up win and overall, 2-8 after failing to cover, 2-8 against teams with winning records, 1-5 against teams with winning records, 1-4 after rushing for 200 yards or more, after gaining 450 yards or more and in road games.

Texas is 4-0 ATS at home, 4-1 in Big 12 games, overall, against teams with winning records, and after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 4-9 after allowing 450 total yards or more, and 3-11 after scoring 40 points or more.

While West Virginia is looking to stay in the hunt for a Big 12 title, Texas looks to become bowl eligible. More importantly, the Longhorns are playing for Charlie Strong’s job. Like most games in the defense optional Big 12, this should be a high scoring shootout. I like the Longhorns to win a close game.

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