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West Virginia vs Houston Primed to Go Under

Welcome to the world of conference realignment when teams that never even thought about playing each other are now conference foes. West Virginia heads to Houston as a slight favorite so keep that in mind when making college football predictions for Oct. 12.

This will be the first meeting between the teams. West Virginia looks to remain perfect in Big 12 play this season. The Mountaineers are trying to turn things around after having more Big 12 losses than any other program except for Texas Tech and Kansas since the start of the 2019 season. Houston has been outscored 85-41 in its first two Big 12 games.

West Virginia vs Houston Primed to Go Under
West Virginia vs Houston Primed to Go Under

West Virginia’s lone loss did come on the road. This is just the fifth time in the last five seasons that the Mountaineers are favored on the road. They have covered in just two of those previous matchups. Houston is just 3-6 against the spread as the home underdog since 2019.

It would be rather ironic if Houston’s first win in the Big 12 comes against West Virginia considering that Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen coached at West Virginia from 2011-18.

The NCAA football betting lines have West Virginia as the 2½-point favorite.

West Virginia is tied for the fourth-best odds to win the Big 12 title. The conference title odds have moved from +8000 to +3000 for West Virginia since the season began. Houston’s Big 12 odds have crashed, going from +10000 to +30000.

Let’s take a closer look at some NCAA football odds worth considering.

West Virginia vs Houston Betting Lines

West Virginia is Getting Defensive

Wondering why West Virginia joins Oklahoma as the only team yet to lose in Big 12 play this season? Take a look at the defensive numbers.

A season ago, West Virginia allowed 462 yards per game in conference play and the 6.4 yards per play given up was the worst mark in the Big 12. In wins over TCU and Texas Tech, the Mountaineers lead the conference in surrendering just 4.7 yards per offensive play.

The defense has needed to do the heavy lifting because the offense is still a bit of a work in progress.

The best news for West Virginia is that three of the top 13 tacklers are freshmen. However, it is not all good news when it comes to the newcomers as freshman linebacker Trey Lathan, who is third on the team with 27 tackles, will miss the rest of the season.

West Virginia is 11th nationally in third-down defense and the Mountaineers have allowed just five touchdowns in 13 trips to the red zone.

Houston to Dig Itself Another Early Hole

Houston has yet to lead in the second half in its first two conference games as a Big 12 program and has been outscored 30-0 in the second half in losses to Texas Tech and TCU.

The troubles aren’t limited to the latter stages of games.

Houston is giving up 11.2 points in the first quarter of games and that has made things rather difficult for the Cougars.

West Virginia is hardly an offensive juggernaut, especially in the first quarter. However, it makes some sense to go with the visiting Mountaineers to score first.

College Football Pick: West Virginia to Score First (-129)

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Points Might Be Hard to Come By

West Virginia is struggling to get passing grades. Among teams from the Power-5 conferences, only Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa average fewer passing yards per game than the 155.6 that the Mountaineers have in the first five games.

Don’t be looking for many field goal attempts between the Mountaineers and Cougars. Among Big 12 teams, West Virginia is tied with BYU for the fewest field goal attempts this season. The teams have combined to attempt just 13 field goals this season. Eight of those have come in conference play, however.

Not only did West Virginia lose Lathan for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury, but safety Keyshawn Cobb also suffered a season-ending injury while safety Aubrey Burks (16 tackles, one interception) is out indefinitely.

For Houston, receiver Joshua Cobb is questionable for Thursday’s game after missing last week’s matchup with Texas Tech.

West Virginia has covered just twice this season and even with a game against a defensively challenged Houston team, going with the game to finish under 51-point total is a smart move.

College Football Pick: Under 51

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West Virginia vs Houston Game Information

  • Game: West Virginia (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) vs Houston (2-3, 0-2)
  • Location: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
  • Date/Time: Oct. 12, 7 p.m. ET
  • West Virginia vs Houston Live Stream: ESPN


What is the best betting market to target for West Virginia vs Houston?

Going with the game to finish under the 51-point total is the best way to proceed.

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