NCAA Football Game Preview: Baylor at West Virginia

Oct 13, 2022

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Game: Baylor Bears @ West Virginia Mountaineers

Time: 8:37 p.m. ET

Odds: Bears -4.5, Mountaineers +4.5

Total: 62.5

Baylor will play West Virginia in a Big 12 game in Morgantown on Thursday night, a game that the Bears must win to defend their conference crown from a year ago. The Bears (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) are now in sixth place in the standings after a 36-25 loss to then-No. 9 Oklahoma State last Saturday. West Virginia (2-3, 0-2) is currently winless in Big 12 play after a 38-20 loss against Texas on October 1.

Despite defeating West Virginia 45-20 in Waco last year, Baylor is 0-5 SU all-time in Morgantown. In their most recent visit to Morgantown in 2020, the Bears were defeated 27-21 in double overtime. After being rated at No. 16 last week, the Bears’ loss to Oklahoma State caused them to fall out of the AP Top 25 poll.

In the first few seconds of the third quarter of last week’s game, Baylor was behind 23-3 against Oklahoma State. Baylor pieced together two touchdown drives under the direction of QB Blake Shapen that closed the gap to 23-17. The Cowboys, though, scored the game’s last 10 points to win.

Shapen has thrown for 1,118 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions on 69.3 percent of his attempts. In the second half against Oklahoma State, he threw two of his three picks. He will have to be on top of his game if Baylor is going to win tonight.

In its three losses this season, West Virginia’s defense has given up a ton of points. The Mountaineers gave up 38 points to Pitt, 55 to Kansas, and 38 to the Texas Longhorns. That’s 43.7 points per game and giving up that many points won’t win many games in the FBS. Prior to the defeat to Oklahoma State last week, Baylor’s defense had not let up more than 26 points in a single game.

J.T. Daniels, the former Georgia transfer quarterback, directs the Mountaineers’ offense. He has thrown for 1,209 yards and has thrown just two interceptions so far this season. His leading receiver, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, has 35 receptions for 412 yards and four touchdowns. The Mountaineers’ other receivers have consistently dropped passes. Against Texas, West Virginia had six drops.

On Thursday night, the Mountaineers will be without C.J. Donaldson, their leading rusher. Donaldson suffered a concussion last week. West Virginia will miss his 389 running yards and six touchdowns.

In its last 10 contests, Baylor is 8-2 SU. In their last 13 games at home, the Mountaineers have a 10-3 SU record. Baylor has covered the spread in 13 of its last 18 games. In its last six Big 12 contests, West Virginia is 1-5 ATS, but the Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on a Thursday.

The total has gone Under in seven of Baylor’s last 10 games. The Bears rank 23rd in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 16.75 points per game.

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