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Baylor Bears vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Free Pick 10/5/13

West Virginia Mountaineers (3-2) at Baylor Bears (3-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Floyd Casey Stadium)

The Line: Baylor Bears -27.5 -- Over/Under: 68 See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX

Storyline: The 17th-ranked Baylor Bears could be the most impressive team in the FBS and that includes your perennial juggernauts south of the Mason-Dixon line. They were idle last week and have yet to face anyone with a pulse, but the Bears outscored their first three marginal opponents by a combined 209-23, while tallying 2,254 total yards and inviting more oohs and aahs than anyone in the nation thus far. West Virginia, meanwhile, may have finally found a QB in Jr. Florida State transfer Clint Trickett, who became the third Mountaineer QB to start in almost as many games, shocking 11th-ranked Oklahoma State 31-20 Saturday.

The Breakdown: Baylor owns the FBS’s top-ranked passing attack at 444.3 yards per contest, the #1-ranked scoring offense at 69.7 ppg, the 5th-ranked ground game at an average of 307 ypg and the 2nd-ranked defense in points against at 7.7 per game. Whether the Bears’ statistical domination is merely symptomatic of having faced Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe, we’re about to find out. West Virginia fielded a surprisingly capable defense against Oklahoma State after conceding 37 points to Maryland in week 4 and, fluke or not, should provide the first real gauge for this Baylor offense. In the Bears’ last game against Louisiana-Monroe, Baylor went off, compiling 781 total yards and becoming the first FBS team since LSU in 1930 to open a season with at least 60 points in each of its first three games. Jr. QB Bryce Petty finished 18-of-27 for 351 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Jr. RB Lache Seastrunk carried 10 times for 156 yards and a score. The receiving duo of Sr. Tevin Reese and Jr. Antawn Goodley, who came into the game as the only Big 12 receivers averaging at least 100 yards a game kept the trend alive with 6receptions for 123 yards and 5 catches for 156 yards respectively. Defensively, Baylor stuffed the LA-Monroe ground game, keeping them to just 75 yards rushing, forcing four turnovers and holding them to 6-of-20 third down conversions.

Baylor Bears vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Free Pick 10/5/13

Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Trickett wasn’t exactly accurate against Oklahoma State, completing just 24-of-50, but got the job done in the end, leading two late scoring drives for the win.  That’s more than can be said for Jr. Paul Millard, who loused it up against Oklahoma and redshirt freshman Ford Childress, who did the same against Maryland, going 11-of-22 for 62 yards and two picks. The Mountaineers didn’t bring much of a running game against Oklahoma State, totaling just 68 yards, but didn’t need to. The WVU defense was that good, forcing four turnovers that resulted in 13 points and rushing Soph. Cowboy QB J.W. Walsh into numerous errant throws and a first quarter pick six, while holding Ok State to 6-of-20 third down conversions. Even a puncher’s chance against Baylor is unlikely without a crazed Mountaineer D right out of the gate, otherwise the rout will take shape early, as it did in the Bears’ previous three.

Betting Trends: Baylor is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games, 5-0 SU in its last 5 games, 5-0 ATS in its last 5 home games, 5-0 SU in its last 5 home games, the total has gone over in 6 of Baylor’s last 8 games, and the total has gone over in 5 of Baylor’s last 6 home games. West Virginia is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games, 1-5 SU in its last 6 road games, 2-4 ATS in its last 6 road games, the total has gone under in 5 of WVU’s last 5 games, and the total has gone under in 5 of WVU’s last 6 road games.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one settled at -27.5 for Baylor with a 68 point total, a massive spread for a conference game.  And West Virginia’s Jekyll & Hyde act makes this an even a tougher pick, particularly since, as of today, the Mountaineers have yet to name Saturday’s starting QB. Regardless of who’s under center for WVU, Baylor gets the lean, but the hefty 4 TD spread puts the value on the over. 

Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick

Over 68

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