College Football Betting: BYU at West Virginia

College Football Betting:  BYU at West Virginia

In most cases I hate betting against BYU and particularly as an underdog. This was true when Bronco Mendenhall was the head coach and is still true now that Kalani Sitake is in charge. The Cougars are 1-2 SU this year with a loss by 1 point against Utah in Salt Lake City and a loss by 3 points to UCLA at home. They’re 3-0 ATS and have played 3 straight ‘unders’. West Virginia is 2-0 SU/1-0-1 ATS with wins over Missouri and Youngstown State. The two teams will match up on Saturday in a strange neutral site venue of Landover, Maryland right outside of Washington DC.

BYU is on a 7-5 ATS run as an underdog and a 7-3 ATS run in September. They catch West Virginia coming off of a bye week which in theory should be a positive but the Mountaineers are on a 1-5 ATS run after their week off. This is just a real tough spot for BYU and the situation is enough to play against them. The Cougars are coming off of a pair of hard fought games emotionally and physically. Even a team with BYU’s maturity–laden with returned missionaries they’re one of the oldest teams in college football history–it’s just impossible for any team to ‘get up’ every week. West Virginia is an unfamiliar opponent and not one that the Cougars can get much intrinsic motivation from. It might even be a ‘lookahead spot’ to the 9/30 game against Toledo as Sitake goes for his first home win as BYU’s head coach.

There’s also the travel component–they played Arizona in Phoenix (a 9 hour trip from Provo) and Utah in Salt Lake City (right up the road). Now they have to travel 2100 miles crossing two time zones. All of their games thus far have been nighttime affairs and the 1:30 PM Mountain Time start here could exacerbate the travel difficulty. BYU’s offense has been stagnant thus far and that’s largely due to the misguided schemes of offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. Instead of working to the strengths of QB Taysom Hill he’s trying to make him into a pocket passer. Just a tough spot for a tired team.