College Football Picks Week 5: Bowling Green Falcons at West Virginia Mountaineers

Bowling Green Falcons at No. 22 West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday, 10/1/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  West Virginia -17
Current Betting Line:  West Virginia -18.5
Opening Total:  59.5
Current Total:  61
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The West Virginia Mountaineers will need to move past last week's loss to LSU

Bowling Green is 3-1 on the season and has covered all three games it has proven victorious in, losing a 28-27 contest to the Wyoming Cowboys as 9.5-point home favorites two games ago.  The Falcons have already surpassed last year’s win total, as the program was 2-10 last year.  The team boasts one of the youngest teams in football with 54 players that are freshmen or redshirt freshmen.  Bowling Green has had success outside of the Mid-American Conference in the past, picking up 23 wins, which is the most of any teams within that conference.  Bowling Green is 4-0 ATS as a road underdog of 14.5 to 21 points.

The Falcons offense ranks first in the MAC in scoring offense, averaging 38.5 points per game, while also sitting above everyone else in gaining 468.5 yards a contest.  Bowling Green is led by the play of sophomore quarterback Matt Schilz, who is 15th in the country in passing yards per game.  Over the past three weeks, he has thrown 12 touchdowns. The rushing attack has been much improved this year in gaining 164.8 yards a game, as the team ranked last in that category a year ago in rushing for just 62.8 yards a contest.

West Virginia dropped its first game of the season last week in being handed a 47-21 loss to the LSU Tigers as 5.5-point home underdogs.  The Mountaineers first-year head coach has already warned his team of a letdown heading into a matchup against a perceived lesser opponent.  “This is a quality opponent,” commented Dana Holgorsen.  “This isn’t a fill-in game.”  Wide receiver Tavon Austin has been the go to guy in the passing game, averaging almost eight catches and 105 receiving yards a game.  West Virginia is 1-5 ATS as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points.

The Mountaineers had their 18-game win streak against non-conference teams at home snapped last week, while the team will be aiming to score 30-plus points in this contest.  West Virginia has registered a 70-2 record since 2000 when scoring more than 30 points in a game.  Due to Holgorsen’s new system, West Virginia has put the ball in the air a lot more this year, calling 189 pass plays and just 112 running plays.  Coming into this week, the team is averaging 76.5 rushing yards and 382.8 passing yards for 459.3 yards of total offense.

Bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 14-2 ATS mark as a road underdog of more than 10.5 points, while the Mountaineers are 1-4 ATS after a double-digit loss at home.

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