West Virginia Mountaineers -17 at Baylor Bears

Over / Under 56

The Mountaineers are on a three game losing streak, where they’ve lost to two legit teams in Iowa State and the Oklahoma Sooners. They did so to the tune of 24 and 38 respectively.

Quarterback Austin Kendall is taking over for Will Grier and it hasn’t been easy. Kendall is averaging less than six and half yards a pass, with 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He might have his chances against Baylor’s pass defense, which is allowing a 61.7% completion percentage but oddly enough only has allowed five passing touchdowns all year – a Big 12 best.

Baylor seems to have rebounded from previous seasons and the key for them this week will be their run defense.

Baylor is holding opponents to 3.6 yards a carry, and after calculating West Virginia’s rush attack of a putrid 2.9 yards a carry, the SMASH average benefits Baylor who should hold the Mountaineers to 2.55 yards a rush.

This is the kind of game where Baylor will be able to execute their offense with no problem, but will they be able to be stout on defense for four quarters?

Chances are that Baylor does in fact cover the big number, but the real advantage here in Beating Vegas is in the over/ under. West Virginia lets everyone score, but can Baylor really stop anybody for four quarters?

The Pick: The Over at 56

Marshall Thundering Herd -10.5 at Rice Owls

Over / Under 47

The Marshall Thundering Herd are currently 5-3 seeking one more win for bowl eligibility. Of those five wins, three of them came by very small margins (2 vs Ohio, 5 vs Florida Atlantic and 3 vs W. Kentucky).

Photo by Richard Crank of The Parthenon

Marshall Head Coach Doc Holliday has coached up the strongest rush attack in Conference USA and that attack is led by Brenden Knox, who is averaging 100 yards a game at 5.9 yards a clip. Quarterback Isiah Green has had an up and down season, but he’s going against one of the worst pass defenses in the country on Saturday.

The Owls are allowing a completion percentage of 65.6%. On the ground, they have been able to hold opponents to a respectable 4.3 yards a carry. The issue here with the Owls is that their offense is just dreadful. They are completing 55% of their passes and are averaging 3.1 yards on the ground.

Marshall has been picking up momentum as the season has gone along, showing an increase in rushing yards per game and offensive efficiency in its last two games, while Rice is finding it hard to fight hard for four quarters at this point.

Don’t expect a blowout – maybe even by the half point.

The Pick: Marshall -10.5

Kansas State Wildcats -6.5 at Kansas Jayhawks

Over / Under 54

I usually like to build up a take, and then hit you with the pick at the end but this one is so shocking that I had to do things differently.

For the first time ever, I’m taking Kansas in this spot.

Kansas is a home underdog to their rival the Kansas State Wildcats and I’m actually heavily leaning on the side of a team that has been a doormat in college football.

When I say “doormat,” I’m not just saying for the conference. I’m saying for the conference, all of college football and bettors world wide. The truth of the matter here is, Kansas is the better team in this spot – and as a home underdog – what is there NOT to love.

Les Miles has been putting in work at Kansas and it shows. The Jayhawks are currently 3-5 but loss a nail-biter at Texas 50-48 and and just couldn’t get it done in a 29-24 loss to West Virginia. Six wins will be tough considering after this week they have road games against Oklahoma State and Iowa State and close out the season against Baylor.

For Les Miles and his staff – it’s all about building a new culture at Kansas. Part of that culture involves beating rival Kansas State.

Kansas has the better passing attack but their pass defense is poor. Even then that shouldn’t matter because Kansas State has pretty much given up on the pass all season, averaging a conference low, 177 passing yards a game.

K-State does their damage on the ground, where they’ve racked up 20 touchdowns. Both teams should be able to run the ball, but Kansas has the ability to run play-action where K-State doesn’t.

Last year K-State won by four points – this Kansas team is playing a lot better than 2018’s version and are playing a lot smarter.

The Pick: Kansas +6.5