Free Week 1 Prediction: Tigers vs Mountaineers Odds
Looking for Missouri Tigers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers free picks? Week 1 College football betting sees the Tigers taking on the Mountaineers Saturday, September 3rd at Milan Pusker Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
(0-0) Missouri Tigers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (0-0)
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Time: 12:00 PM
Venue: Milan Pusker Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia
NCAA Football Spread: West Virginia -10
NCAA Betting Total: 50.5
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NCAA Football Handicapping
Following one of the more disappointing campaigns of the 2015 NCAA football season featuring a player protest and a near loss to UConn at home, the Missouri Tigers will look to forget last season and build off 8 returning starters on defense.
On the other side of this matchup, the Mountaineers bring back just four defensive starters but 8 on offense.
West Virginia will hope to take the next step forward after an 8 win season – none of which were against teams that finished above .500.
This early season matchup will be a good test for both teams to see where they stand as they face a comparable opponent rather than an elite team or a FBS bottom feeder.
The Tigers success in all of their time in the SEC has been rooted in their defense. Despite a 5-7 record last season, Missouri was still the 5th best scoring defense in the country – giving up just 16.2 points per game.
While his talent is not the same as former QB Maty Mauk, the Tigers will be happy to have sophomore Drew Lock leading the team in camp and into the season. Mauk was an incredible talent that never lived up to the hype – mainly due to off-the-field issues – but also due
to a rotating offensive line around him.
Lock was one of the worst quarterbacks in the nation in the 2015 – completing just 49 percent of his passes in his eight starts and throwing for over 200 yards just once in a game.
He was just a freshman though, and after another full offseason with the coaching staff and experience under his belt, I would expect Lock to be improved – as he is certainly a capable playmaker.
The Tigers will rely on Lock to be a game manager though. The defense is good enough that they will simply want him to protect the football and lead long drives.
The Tigers will rely on a steady dose of Alex Ross – a transfer running back from Oklahoma – as well as group of freshmen backs and returning leading rusher Ish Witter.
There was no part of the Missouri offense that was good last season. But, a group of tailbacks with some talent and an improved Lock could move the ball a bit against the Mountaineer defense.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Despite going 8-5 last season, there were few things about West Virginia’s season in 2015 that were overly exciting.
They won the games they were supposed to – with the exception of maybe their bowl win over Arizona State and a one point loss to Kansas Sate – and got crushed in the games they were overmatched.
West Virginia went 0-4 against the top four teams in the Big 12 and 4-1 against the bottom five teams in the conference.
Their average margin of defeat in the four losses against top teams was 20 points. Their offense was explosive at times but stagnant at others and their defense was above average. That is the recipe for a middle of the road record in the Big 12.
It is always interesting to see how the style of Big 12 translates to play against SEC teams. In this matchup, expect West Virginia’s explosive offense to move the ball against Missouri.
The big reason will be quarterback Skyler Howard. Howard threw for 3145 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2015. His favorite target, Shelton Gibson, returns after his 887 yard, 9 touchdown 2015 campaign.
West Virginia only brings back four starters on defense but are expected to start 11 upperclassmen. The unit was one of the best in the Big 12 – a powerful offensive conference.
This West Virginia could be more competitive in the loaded Big 12 but should have no problem with one of the worst teams in the SEC and one of the worst offenses in the power conferences.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Under is 12-2 in Missouri’s last 14 September games
- Under is 18-7-1 in Missouri’s last 26 games overall
- Under is 8-2 in West Virginia’s last 10 September games
- Under is 17-5 in West Virginia’s last 22 games overall.
- Missouri was 3-9 ATS last season
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Prediction
While there are way too many names on much better teams in his way, Howard could put up Heisman caliber numbers.
Not to say that he will be near the conversation because West Virginia won’t be a title contender, but expect Howard to break the 30 touchdown mark through the air with at least as many rushing touchdowns as 2015 (6).
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: West Virginia -10
I like West Virginia to win big in this game and to surprise some people this season with a favorable conference schedule that features Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma all at home.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: West Virginia 34 – Missouri 14
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