South Florida Bulls
(3-2, 2-3 ATS)
West Virginia Mountaineers
(4-1, 3-2 ATS)
Bitter Big East foes duke it out in what could be a very crucial college football betting affair on Thursday night, as the West Virginia Mountaineers try to run with the South Florida Bulls.
USF dug itself a major hole last week by losing to the Syracuse Orange at home. By Big East standards, that’s as close to a bye week as it gets, and the Bulls had no business losing that game. QB BJ Daniels was just awful on the day, as he went only 9-of-23 for 124 yards with a pair of INTs. He also couldn’t get the ground game going, as he had -1 yard on the ground. The defense for HC Skip Holtz’s team is playing well, but thanks to the fact that this schedule hasn’t been much to write home about, we aren’t so sure whether this is a product of Holtz’s ‘D’ or the poor stock of teams to play against. In fact, the only team that is going to be anywhere near the Top 25 on the schedule so far is the Florida Gators, who put 38 on the board and was the only team that scored more than 14 points on this defense all season long. The Bulls might be a 3-2 team, but they certainly haven’t played the role of a team that looks like it can compete in the Big East this year.
West Virginia has to love the fact that everyone else in this conference seems to be struggling. This is the first game of the Big East slate for ‘Neers who, unlike South Florida, have played a legitimate slate. This defense definitely has the statistics and the schedule to be considered the big time. The Mountaineers rank No. 7 in the land in total defense at 254.6 yards per game, No. 9 in rush defense at 86.8 yards per game, and No. 7 in scoring at 13.6 points per game. No one has scored more than 21 points on this defense, and there might not be a team that has the chance to do this all season long on this team. Offensively, there are some things to work out, but QB Geno Smith is improving on the job against some of the best that the country has to offer. He has thrown for 1,139 yards and 12 TDs this season. RB Noel Devine seems to be a forgotten commodity for this ‘O’. He has rumbled for 475 yards in five games and is a candidate to pick up 150+ yards in a game against anyone in the country.
The Mountaineers are laying a ton of points in this game, and we just can’t roll with the punches. WVU is going to win this game, but the Bulls have to make amends for the errors of last week. Daniels will give everything he has for sure. It won’t be enough to win, but this is too many points to leave on the table in a conference game, even if it is in Morgantown.
College Football Free Pick: South Florida Bulls +10.5