Play Q & A with handicapper Kelly Stewart, who will answer selected questions from Las Vegas Review-Journal readers. Email her at Askkelly@reviewjournal.com.
Q: You’re a Kansas State fan, so are you worried about West Virginia bouncing back from a blowout loss and beating the Wildcats?
– Rob, Las Vegas
A: West Virginia has a high-powered offense and scores quickly. Geno Smith has played like the top quarterback in the nation, and he has a deadly combination of wide receivers in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. But I’ve heard Bailey hasn’t been at practice all week and won’t be playing Saturday. That could be a big problem for the Mountaineers, and their confidence is already shaken after the 49-14 loss at Texas Tech last week.
Sure, West Virginia needs to win to stay in the Big 12 Conference title race, but the Wildcats are 6-0 and have more to play for at this point. They also have quarterback Collin Klein.
Look for K-State’s offense to put together some time-consuming drives to wear down a weak West Virginia defense that has trouble stopping the run. Klein has rushed for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns and passed for 1,074 yards and seven TDs. The Mountaineers have the nation’s third-worst pass defense. If Klein throws the ball like he did in a 24-19 upset win at Oklahoma on Sept. 22, K-State will be in business in Morgantown.
The Wildcats were two-touchdown underdogs when they beat the Sooners. I’m biased, but I think they are a good bet to win as 3-point underdogs at West Virginia.
Q: What happened to your upset pick on the Texas-Oklahoma game? Hopefully you have a better upset pick this week.
– James, Las Vegas
A: Clearly, I was wrong. It was a bad college weekend for me. The Longhorns got embarrassed 63-21, and it was over early. On another note, I’d like to thank the Sooners for making Kansas State look like a top-5 team.
My favorite college upset this week is Iowa State as a 14-point underdog at Oklahoma State. There’s a big question who will be at quarterback for the Cowboys, and the linemakers are counting on freshman Wes Lunt playing. I haven’t heard one way or the other, but if he’s not, I like the Cyclones to win, and at least cover the number, in Stillwater. The Cowboys haven’t shown much these past few weeks, and I don’t expect to see much out of them this week, revenge game or not.
Q: Did the Denver Broncos win the AFC West on Monday night or can the Chargers bounce back?
– Brian, San Diego
A: The Broncos didn’t win the division this week, but they are well on their way. Peyton Manning came out of the locker room at halftime with a determined look and helped score 35 unanswered points. The Denver defense made Philip Rivers look like Tony Romo.
The Chargers have a lot of hard work ahead, even with both teams at 3-3. The Broncos have the edge because here’s the key – of their final 10 games, five are against opponents with one win. The back end of their schedule is soft.
Kelly Stewart of Hottiehandicappers.com can be reached at Askkelly@reviewjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kellyinvegas.KELLY’S HOT TIPS
The weekend’s five best bets:
• FLORIDA (-3.5) over South Carolina
• Iowa State (+14) over OKLAHOMA STATE
• OKLAHOMA (-35) over Kansas
• BILLS (-3.5) over Titans
• BUCCANEERS (+3) over Saints
Last week: 1-3-1