November 23, 2018
There are two picks tonight.
#1: West Virginia +3 spread against Oklahoma for 3% of the bankroll.
Following their loss to Oklahoma State last week, the West Virginia Mountaineers hopes for a CFP berth are over. While many may believe that will cause WVU to sleepwalk through this contest, we don't believe that will be the case. Rarely does a team coming off a conference loss at the end of the season have a chance to play for the conference championship, but that is exactly what the Mountaineers have here tonight.
For Oklahoma, this is the game that they have been waiting for. A win tonight would keep their hopes alive for a potential CFP berth, but a loss would place them firmly out of the conversation. For much of the season, everyone has been enamored by the Sooner offense run by Kyler Murray, however, it has been their defense which is arguably the most porous of any teams currently in contention for the playoff. They have been on the ropes numerous times this season, with their offense always coming through to carry the team at the end. This is a matchup that we feel could be bad for the Sooners as West Virginia has one of the better defenses in the Big 12, with only Texas (who already beat Oklahoma) being the only one better.
The oddsmakers have listed this total in the 80's and for good reason. They are expecting a shootout and we believe that is exactly what we will get. Both teams should be able to move the ball up and down the field, but with this game being played in Morgantown, it gives the Mountaineers a decided advantage. They are undefeated at home this season and we have seen both teams struggle at times on the road. While WVU is no eligible for a playoff spot, you can bet they would like nothing more than to play spoiler and dash the hopes of Sooner Nation tonight. This should be a highly entertaining game that goes right down to the wire. The team that gets the critical stop late will likely be the one to win this game and we have to believe that edge goes to the home team. The points could prove valuable in this one tonight.
#2: Washington +3 spread (buy the half point) against Washington State for 3% of the bankroll.
The Washington State Cougars have had a great season and with just a single loss on the year, there have been talks about Mike Leach's team being a dark horse for potentially making a playoff bid. They cemented their stand last week, completely rolling through Arizona by hanging 66 points on them. It was a statement win if there ever was one. That being said, it would be a mistake for them to look past the Huskies in this contest.
Chris Petersen's Huskies have owned Mike Leach's Cougars in this rivalry over the last 5 seasons. Washington is a perfect 5-0 in the Apple Cup and while Washington State has come close on a few occasions, they have often lost in gut-wrenching fashion. Some of the ways the Cougars have lost have been so bad that it's even developed its own nickname. Much like Clemson had the moniker "Clemsoning" before Dabo Swinney took over, Washington State has the West Coast equivalent, "Cougaring". While many believe this is the year that Leach finally gets one over on his rival, it's hard to envision a "Cougaring" ending no rearing its ugly head.
Washington has been a solid team this season, but early season losses dashed any hopes they had of a playoff berth very early on in the season. Because of that, they have been a team that no one has really been talking about, despite their solid play. They are still a very dangerous team, with an elite secondary and could pose a real problem for Minshew tonight.
The weather in Pullman is also expected to be terrible. Cold and rainy condition will likely have an impact on this game, but we believe it will affect the air-raid often more than it will the two-headed offensive attack that Washington like to employ. The Huskies use the run to set up the pass and in less-than-stellar conditions, they should be able to lean on that run game even more.
This could be a low-scoring, grind it out style game and if that is indeed the case, the points will prove valuable in the end. It would be a huge accomplishment for the Cougars to pull off the victory and would certainly make things interesting for the selection committee, however, if they do in fact win, it will likely be by the narrowest of margins in which the points are likely to come into play.
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