West Virginia vs. Texas Tech Pick & Prediction
West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, September 29th, 2018 – 12:00 PM ET
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium – Lubbock, Texas
By: Keith Franks, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: West Virginia -3.5 / Texas Tech +3.5
Over/Under Total: 77
The No. 12 West Virginia Mountaineers will head out west to square off with the Texas Tech Red Raiders for a Big 12 collision at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, September 29th, 2018. The contest is set for a high noon kick off and will be aired on ESPN2. Generally speaking, for those that love offense, the Red Raiders and the Mountaineers won’t leave you without. Five of the last six meetings between both sides saw over 60 total points scored in the affair. Overall, West Virginia has won the last four meetings between both sides. They have also covered in the previous two contests while they were at it. Last year, WVU tackled T-Tech in Morgantown defeating them by a score of 46-35 as a 5.5-point choice.
West Virginia Wins Big Yet Again
The Mountaineers continue to look in good form as they enter into this affair on the heels of a 35-6 beating of Kansas State in Morgantown. The Mountaineers offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders as Coach Dana Holgorsen has a huge buffet of weapons to deploy in their vaunted attack. Texas Tech owns the best passing attack in America (435.1 passing yards per game) along with the most total yardage per game (An insane 621 yards per game). Normally, this would be a bit concerning to Mountaineers faithful as their defense historically could give up some big plays. However, the Mountaineers to their credit own the second ranked scoring defense giving up just 12.3 points per game. Moreover, WVU only gives up an 18th-ranked 304 yards of total defense per outing as well.
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Texas Tech Out-duels The Pokes
After losing their opening game to Ole Miss where the Rebels lit up the Red Raiders, Tech responded with three consecutive victories that have them now sitting on the periphery of the Top 25. Last week, the Red Raiders pulled off an impressive upset of the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater to knock out the Pokes out of a ranking in some polls. As a 14.5-point pup, the Red Raiders dominated. TT defeated Okie State by a score of 41-17 after this same Cowboys team steamrolled one of the premier mid-major teams in all of college football, Boise State the week before. It was undoubtedly one of Week 4’s most impressive results by the Red Raiders.
A Key Match-Up To Focus On: West Virginia’s High-Powered Offense Against The Swiss Cheese Texas Tech Defense
The Achilles’ heel of this Texas Tech bunch has always been their lack of a defense. Most notably, the Red Raiders own the 110th ranked passing defense, surrendering 288 yards per game. This is an especially grisly note to take in for TT fans given the fact they are up against what some believe to be the best quarterback in the country in West Virginia field general Will Grier. The Mountaineers sit third in the country with an astounding 373.7 passing yards per game. Needless to say, Grier is in position here to carve up the porous secondary of the Red Raiders.
Take West Virginia -3.5
Texas Tech’s win over Oklahoma State is one that can stir a frenzy for many to back the Red Raiders here this week, as they seem primed for another upset bid playing this one at home. However, Oklahoma State’s defense is much more akin to what Texas Tech normally puts out. In the past, we have seen many ebbs and flows in Texas Tech/Oklahoma State games where large leads evaporate very quickly. This is because both teams like playing basketball on a football field. West Virginia can duel with the best of them but they actually put a lick on some folks.
The match-up of Will Grier against Texas Tech’s passing defense is enough to warrant a bet on the Mountaineers as the Red Raiders will not be able to stop this Mountaineers offense. Mind you, even if West Virginia puts up pedestrian numbers against this dynamic Tech offense, a few key stops will afford West Virginia to foster a cover even if that margin is just by a touchdown. The Mountaineers haven’t had an opportunity to show off how good they really are. This venue seems like the perfect fit for such a spectacle.