West Virginia hasn’t been a double-digit underdog in 23 consecutive games. Dana Holgorsen’s team shouldn’t be a 13½-point underdog at Texas Christian, either, so let’s take advantage with a play on the Mountaineers.
I made TCU a 5½-point home favorite. This is a wager on West Virginia, not one against the Horned Frogs, who have been outstanding through four games. They’re simply getting too much love from the oddsmakers.
Mountaineers junior quarterback Will Grier is 9-1 in 10 career starts. The loss came in the season opener, a 31-24 neutral-field defeat to Virginia Tech during which West Virginia was stopped on downs in the red zone late in the game.
Grier has been sensational, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards with a 13-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The transfer from Florida spreads the wealth, finding four targets for at least 209 receiving yards each in four games.
Although TCU quarterback Kenny Hill is playing well, there’s no doubt that we have the quarterback advantage here. Also, the Mountaineers beat the Horned Frogs 34-10 last season.
When you wager on solid squads catching double digits, you’re going to live much more often than you die. The Mountaineers are certainly capable of winning outright, so don’t be hesitant to get a taste of them on the money line in the plus-425 neighborhood.
Four more plays (home team in CAPS):
Georgia-Vanderbilt (Over 40½): The key to this handicap is the fact that three defensive starters for Georgia are out, including Trenton Thompson, one of the nation’s best tackles. The Commodores’ last two games have netted combined scores of 59 and 62 points.
Washington State (-2½) over OREGON: I would normally avoid a team in a potential letdown scenario after a huge win, as is the case with the Cougars following their upset of Southern California. But Oregon has been decimated by injuries, most notably to star quarterback Justin Herbert. We’re betting against a quarterback making his first career start in Taylor Alie and have a huge advantage at the position in Washington State senior Luke Falk (16 TDs, two interceptions). We also have the coaching edge with Mike Leach over Willie Taggart.
MICHIGAN (-10½) over Michigan State: I made Michigan a 14½-point favorite. The Wolverines owe the Spartans a shellacking after a sloppy effort in a 32-23 win in East Lansing last year that ended a three-game losing streak to Michigan State. Michigan has won all four of its games this season by at least 16 points. The Wolverines lead the nation in total defense and allow only 13.5 points per game.
KENTUCKY (-9½) over Missouri: I made the Wildcats a 14-point favorite. This is a play against Missouri more than anything, though. The Tigers have had two weeks to prepare, but they also lost their second-best wideout, Dimetrios Mason, during the open date when he was dismissed from the program.
Last week: 2-3 against the spread
Brian Edwards of VegasInsider.com and BrianEdwardsSports.com is providing college football analysis for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.Follow @vegasbedwards on Twitter.