NCAAF Betting Preview: West Virginia vs Kansas State
The last week of Big 12 action sees West Virginia (7-4) heading to Kansas State (5-6). The Big 12 does not have a conference championship game, so this is just the last week of regular season play. Oklahoma has clinched a conference championship, so the Mountaineers and Wildcats are just playing out the strong at this point. West Virginia comes into town as a six-point NCAAF betting favorite, and the over-under total is 59 points.
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) November 30, 2015
West Virginia comes into town with a four-game winning streak and looks to seal a quality bowl bid. Quarterback Skyler Howard has thrown for 2,332 yard, completing 56.1 percent of his tosses with 20 touchdown passes and 12 picks. In the last three games, Howard has thrown four touchdown passes. Jovon Durante leads the team with 21 receptions, while Daikiel Shorts Jr. and Shelton Gibson have combined for 11 scores and 1,079 yards. The Mountaineers rush for 241.5 yards per game, led by Wendell Smallwood’s 1,306 yards and eight scores. On defense, West Virginia permits just 23.1 points per game, let by Nick Kwiatkoski’s 72 tackles. Daryl Worley leads the team with five picks, and Noble Nwachukwu has a team-high 7.5 sacks.
If Kansas State is to become bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive season, they must win this game. Quarterback Joe Hubener has only completed 49 percent of his passes this year, picking up 1,752 yards and nine touchdowns against seven interceptions. Dominique Heath has been the top receiver with 27 catches, while Deante Burton and Kody Cook have gained 739 receiving yads together. Charles Jones is the leading rusher, having picked up 612 yards and five scores as the team runs for 170.2 yards per game. Kansas State permits 31 points per game. Jordan Willis has a team-high 7.5 sacks, and Elijah Lee leads the team with 70 tackles.
West Virginia is a Jekyll-and-Hyde team when it comes to playing at home and away. They are 6-1 at home and 1-3 on the road. Their only road win so far this season came against the awful Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas State has won two straight games after going through a tough stretch with injuries, and the Wildcats will be working hard to earn a bowl berth for their coach. The Mountaineers are 3-7-1 in their last 11 December contests and 4-0 against the spread against a sub-.500 team. Kansas State is 19-6-1 against the spread in their last 26 games against teams over .500. Given the dynamics of the situation, though, I like Kansas State to cover this – and maybe even to win straight up.