College Football Picks and Predictions: West Virginia vs. Connecticut Betting Odds
by Aaron Smith - 10/29/2010
The Connecticut Huskies were expected to be among the best teams in the Big East this year, but it just hasn’t worked out that way. West Virginia looked like the class of the conference until last weekend’s shocking home loss at the hands of Syracuse. The Connecticut Huskies are searching for an identity, while West Virginia must put last week’s disappointment behind them and get back on track. This one will be on national television, so both teams should be fired up and ready to bring their best effort.
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College Football Predictions: The Offenses
The West Virginia Mountaineers offense is full of talent, but they haven’t quite come together as a unit so far this season. Quarterback Geno Smith appears to have a good grasp of the system, and he has done a nice job taking care of the football. Smith has just five interceptions so far this season. Noel Devine is in his senior year, but he is actually having the worst year of his four-year career thus far this season. Devine is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, but every other year he has averaged at least six yards per carry. The Mountaineers have struggled to stretch the defense deep, which has likely cut down on Devine’s running lanes.
The UConn Huskies have one of the best running backs in the nation in Jordan Todman, but that is about the only positive thing they have going for them on offense right now. Todman has eight touchdowns and he already has 841 yards on the ground this season. The quarterback position has been extremely unsettled this year, and it appears this weekend they will end up with Zach Frazer as the starter once again. Michael Box started last weekend, but he will not play this week due to a head injury. Frazer was ineffective earlier this year, and the Huskies are averaging just 163 yards per game through the air.
College Football Predictions: The Defenses
The West Virginia defense has been tremendous this year. The Mountaineers rank fourth in both total defense and pass defense. They are allowing only 13.3 points per game, which is good for fifth best in the nation. This is a defense that is full of guys that know their role and play solid fundamental football. Maybe the most impressive statistic of all is that West Virginia allows opponents to convert only 24 percent of their third down conversion attempts. This is a stingy defense that keeps their team in every game.
The Connecticut defense was expected to be good, but they have been no better than mediocre. They are allowing 151 yards on the ground each game and 206 through the air. Two weeks ago the Huskies allowed 453 yards against Rutgers, an offense that had been abysmal up until their meeting with Connecticut. This is a big defensive line that should be shutting down the running game better than they are.
West Virginia vs. Connecticut Betting Odds and Line Movement
The college football betting odds for this game have stayed remarkably steady through the week. The Mountaineers opened as 6.5-point road favorites, which is right where they sit today. The posted total opened at 46, and it has edged down to 45.5. It appears the books found a good number early on this matchup.
West Virginia vs. Connecticut Betting Trends
The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The Huskies are a stunning 24-9 ATS in their last 33 home games, but this team hasn’t had the same feel as the Connecticut teams of the last few years. West Virginia is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings with UConn. The ‘over’ is 4-1 in the last five matchups between these teams.
College Football Picks: West Virginia vs. Connecticut Predictions
West Virginia slipped up pretty badly last week, but they still have a solid team. Connecticut is a team in disarray right now. I expect West Virginia’s defense to make Frazer throw the football, which has been a negative for the Huskies all year. Devine and the rushing attack will likely get going some in this one as well. I like West Virginia -6.5 in this game.
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