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West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/30/13

Iowa State Cyclones (2-9) at West Virginia Mountaineers (4-7)

College Football: Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm (Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium)

The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers -8.5 -- Over/Under: 53.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX Sports 1

Storyline: The Mountaineers aren’t playing for much anymore beyond self-respect. Already locked out of a bowl berth with just cellar dweller Iowa State remaining on the schedule, a loss here would cap off a dismal Big 12 sophomore campaign and leave West Virginia in a tie with the Cyclones (and maybe even Kansas if they beat Kansas State) for last place in the conference. Meanwhile, Iowa State throttled Kansas 34-0 Saturday for its first Big 12 win of the season and can avoid finishing at the bottom of the conference barrel with a win here.

The Breakdown: West Virginia was idle last week, but got embarrassed 31-19 by lowly Kansas its last time out. In a season filled with quite a few valleys and maybe one peak (The win over Ok State), the loss to the Jayhawks was without question the low point. The Mountaineers have seen their struggles at the QB position and have started everyone on the depth chart at one time or another, but the starter against Kansas, junior Paul Millard (23-of-42 for 242 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) was hardly the issue. A West Virginia defense that came into the game ranked 100th in the nation in total defense lived up to its billing and got flattened to the tune of 315 rushing yards by the nation’s 117th-ranked offense, led by senior James Sims and a career-high 211 yards and 3 TDs on 22 carries.  

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/30/13

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State got the Kansas team we’ve grown accustomed to seeing this season, the one that ranks near the bottom of the FBS in scoring at a miniscule 15.8 points per game and couldn’t find the end zone with a 99-yard spot. And the Cyclones took full advantage, keeping the Jayhawks to 279 total yards, 92 passing and 187 rushing, forcing 2 turnovers and holding them to 3-of-16 third down conversions. Iowa State also jumped all over the 96th-ranked Kansas defense, racking up 502 total yards behind a career-high 300-yard, 2 TD performance from freshman QB Grant Rohach and a combined 133 yards and 1 TD rushing from RBs  junior Aaron Wimberly and senior Shontrelle Johnson.

Betting Trends: West Virginia is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games, 1-5 SU in its last 6 games, 1-4 ATS in its last 5 home games, 4-2 SU in its last 6 home games, the total has gone over in 5 of West Virginia’s last 6 games, and the total has gone under in 4 of West Virginia’s last 6 home games. Iowa State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games, 1-7 SU in its last 8 games, 2-4 ATS in its last 6 road games, 1-5 SU in its last 6 road games, the total has gone over in 7 of Iowa State’s last 10 games and the total has gone over in 4 of Iowa State’s last 5 road games.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -8.5 for West Virginia with a 53.5 point total. This is what you would call a conundrum. Do you bank on the Mountaineer team that just got manhandled by the Big 12’s worst in Kansas or the one that took out the Big 12’s best in Ok State? Conversely, do you bank on  the Iowa State team that lost seven in a row or the one that just routed Kansas? Better to go with the under.

 Follow me on Twitter @ SCPRick

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