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West Virginia Mountaineers Betting Predictions – A Loaded Offense Gives WVU Hope This Year

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/31/2012 6:21:00 PM

Head Coach: Dana Holgorsen
Offensive Coordinator: Dana Holgorsen
Defensive Coordinator: Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson
Stadium: Milan Puskar Stadium
Capacity: 60,000

Offense

For the various pundits and gurus who have a particular line of insight on NCAA football betting, the coming season is going to be reduced to some very simple terms for the West Virginia Mountaineers. For one thing, the over-under is regularly going to be set at a very high level. West Virginia is heavily weighted to offense while being bereft of a substantial and formidable defense. The Mountaineers are going to have to score big almost every time they take the field, but the key point to realize with this team is that it has the weapons to do just that.

Quarterback Geno Smith is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender, graced with top-shelf skills as both a passer and a runner. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are going to make Smith look very good as well, because their combination of speed on the edges and route-running precision in the middle third of the field will pry open a lot of opportunities for WVU's passing game. Smith will have receivers in open space; he'll be able to find pass catchers when plays break down and he's forced to make a throw in a difficult situation.

West Virginia will certainly make its fair share of plays from head coach Dana Holgorsen's aggressive downfield passing attack, but the wondrous part of the Mountaineers' offense is that it will be able to create many home-run plays through improvisation and ad-lib resourcefulness. This is an offense that can win with both structure and flair. Smith is a quarterback who can beat defenses with his legs as well as his arm. This offense is simply going to be a lot to handle for anyone in the Big 12.

Grade: A

Defense

The ranks of the best online betting sites are going to set high over-unders in West Virginia games not just because of the excellence of this team's offense, but because of the weakness of this team's defense. West Virginia has been facing Big East offenses in recent years. Now it will stare down Big 12 offenses loaded with playmakers and, moreover, a better caliber of athlete at just about every position on the field. Big 12 offenses also commit fewer turnovers and have better quarterbacks than the current crop of Big East offenses. Simply due to the dynamics of this cross-conference transition, West Virginia's defense is likely to have a long year ahead.

Grade: D+

Special Teams

Various online sports betting analysts are cognizant of the fact that when West Virginia pulled within six points of LSU last season, the Mountaineers got stomach-punched because of a kickoff return for a touchdown, a special-teams breakdown that cost WVU in a big way. This season, the return game – producing it on returns and thwarting it on kick coverage – will loom large for the Mountaineers. We'll see what happens. Right now, a skeptical outlook is warranted.

Grade: C

Prediction

The Mountaineers will get punched and bruised at times in their new conference, but the Big 12 is a league for offenses, and West Virginia can compete with anyone in the South Central Plains. This team can compete for the league championship, but will it have the consistency needed to avoid turnovers in the biggest games of all? The sense here is that West Virginia will outpace most of its opponents, but not the Oklahoma Sooners. WVU will finish second in the Big 12.

2012 Schedule

Week 1 – vs. Marshall (Noon ET)
Week 2 – vs. James Madison (Neutral-site game; 4:30 PM ET)
Week 3 – vs. Maryland
Week 4 – vs. Baylor
Week 5 – at Texas
Week 6 – at Texas Tech
Week 7 – vs. Kansas State
Week 8 – vs. TCU
Week 9 – at Oklahoma State
Week 10 – vs. Oklahoma
Week 11 – at Iowa State (Friday, 3:30 PM ET)
Week 12 – vs. Kansas

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