College Football Pick: West Virginia vs. Iowa State
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday, October 13th, 2018 – 7:00 PM ET
Where: Jack Trice Stadium – Ames, Iowa
By: Keith Franks, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Spread: West Virginia -4.5 / Iowa State +4.5
The West Virginia Mountaineers will travel to the infamous Jack Trice Stadium to square off with the Iowa State Cyclones in what is shaping up to be a significant clash within the Big 12 conference. The game will be televised on FS1 live from Ames, Iowa on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET. West Virginia sports a prodigious No. 6 ranking as they step into this hostile territory. The two teams have crossed paths on six occasions and West Virginia has won five of them. Last year in Morgantown, it was nothing short of a thriller. The Cyclones fell by just four points to the Mountaineers. Overall, West Virginia has won the last four meetings in a row.
West Virginia Cruises By Kansas
The Mountaineers continue to roll as they added their fifth win last Saturday with an easy home beating served to the Kansas Jayhawks. As a 27.5-point favorite, the Mountaineers failed to cover the lofty line but nevertheless cruised to a 38-22 win. WVU continues to showcase one of the best offenses in the country spearheaded by quarterback Will Grier. Presently, the Mountaineers own the 10th ranked offense nationally in terms of total yardage (526.8 yards per game). In terms of passing, Grier has powered the Mountaineers to a fourth-ranked 364.6 yards per game. WVU’s record suggests they should run over a 3-2 team but this perhaps could be their greatest test this season as Iowa State has a penchant for playing up to opposition that comes to town. We could have seen how West Virginia fared in hostile environments against good football teams when they scheduled NC State. However, the game was postponed due to Hurricane Florence.
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Iowa State Out-duels The Pokes
Once again Iowa State has displayed its aptitude for taking it to the cream of the Big 12 crop. State comes in off a 48-42 shootout win against the No. 24 Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater, last weekend. Iowa State achieved the upset as a 10-point dog. The Cyclones could very well be the best 2-3 team in America. Iowa State’s losses were all very close and came against the likes of Oklahoma, Iowa, and Texas Christian. Iowa is flirting with a possible ranking if they should win this weekend, Oklahoma was ranked in the top-five when the two met, and Texas Christian has been ranked in the teens this season. Yet against all three outfits, Iowa State lost by a combined 23 points. This team epitomizes the term live dog. ISU is 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season.
A Key Match-Up To Focus On: West Virginia against The Cyclone Faithful
As we mentioned previously, we have yet to see West Virginia handle the rigors of a truly hostile environment against a football team that will engage it in a fist fight. What happened in Texas Tech two weeks ago was by no means something to revel in. The Red Raiders have one of the worst passing defenses in America, on which many days a varsity team could run up the score. Iowa State is a notorious upset artist in Ames and now we will get a first glimpse of how West Virginia fares as the top-ranked team in the Big 12 going into an environment where the fabled siren will be ringing non-stop.
Take Iowa State +4.5
Given the fact we are seeing an unranked team take back such a small price tag against a top-five opponent, it causes us to wonder if an outright upset may not be in the works here. After all, we saw a similar situation last Saturday when Mississippi State hosted a No. 8 Auburn in Starkville. The Bulldogs dominated the Tigers pretty much from start to finish and pulled off the upset with ease. Already, Iowa State has come close to upsetting both Oklahoma and Texas Christian here this season but were a few key plays short, which was the difference maker. After pulling off the win in Stillwater, this battle-tested Cyclones bunch knows what it takes now to finish a game against a quality opponent. That momentum and moxie will carry over here. Home field advantage only maximizes this further. We recommend taking the points here but also compel takers to take a look at the Cyclones outright on the Money Line is sportsbooks continue to edge the line in our favor. This one has upset written all over it.