It’s a battle of 3-3 teams on Saturday as the West Virginia Mountaineers travel to Lubbock, Texas, to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Both teams are fighting injuries with several key players that could miss the Big 12 contest.
That could have major implications on the spread as it is uncertain who will suit up. The Red Raiders have lost two of their last three games, while the Mountaineers have won three of their last four.
Who gets a winning record after Saturday? Continue reading for free college football picks and predictions for West Virginia vs. Texas Tech on October 22.
West Virginia vs Texas Tech best odds
West Virginia vs Texas Tech picks and predictions
Saturday’s game between West Virginia and Texas Tech is a hard one to handicap. Both teams are riddled with injuries, and both coaches have doubts about who will be on the field. The biggest blow to West Virginia has been its secondary. Starting cornerbacks Rashad Ajayi and Wesley McCormick left last week’s 43-40 victory over Baylor. This is on top of cornerback Charles Woods, who is out with ankle surgery from an injury he suffered in the team’s opener at Pitt.
West Virginia Coach Neal Brown said Ajayi and McCormick are questionable, and Woods will be used sparingly. “We’re going to practice Charles Woods some today and know more,” Brown said in a press conference. “Hopeful and I wouldn’t say any more than that yet. If he does play, it’ll be in a reduced role. By no means will it be every play.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the team will be without tight end Mike O’Laughlin. He suffered his third major knee injury two weeks ago at Texas and is out for the rest of the year. Another casualty of the Texas loss was running back CJ Donaldson. The freshman recently got out of concussion protocol but has had limited time in practice. He is another player that may see reduced playing time on Saturday.
Texas Tech’s injuries are at its most important position. Quarterback Tyler Shough, Donovan Smith, and Behren Morton all have issues heading into the game with the Mountaineers. Shough started the team’s first game but has not played since as he's dealing with a shoulder injury. Donovan Smith also has an injury to his throwing shoulder and has seen limited playing time. The freshman Morton started two weeks ago against Oklahoma State and threw for 379 yards and two touchdowns.
His injury isn’t considered serious, according to head coach Joey McGuire. Still, I don’t like all the dinged-up players. I think I would prefer focusing on the total of this game as I see a possibility of exploiting a mistake. The total opened at 72 and has plummeted to 64.5. The reasoning was all the injuries, but I think that might be a bit misguided.
At least one of Texas Tech’s quarterbacks should be ready to go. It will probably be Morton, and he performed well against Oklahoma State. The team scored 31 points in that contest, and I think they’ll be equal or better against a Mountaineers' team who have questions in their secondary.
My best bet: Over 64.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
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West Virginia vs Texas Tech spread analysis
The injuries between the two teams are well chronicled, but I do think there is value in taking Texas Tech. The line opened at -4.5 in the Red Raiders' favor but has gone up to 6.5. That is still under the magic number of 7, and I believe gamblers should take it and run.
The Red Raiders have the 39th-best scoring offense in the country, averaging 34.5 points a game. Their total offense is even more impressive at No. 19 in the nation, averaging 484.2 yards per game. They are also No. 2 in passing offense, with an average of 365 ypg. All three quarterbacks may be available for Saturday, despite nursing injuries.
Donovan Smith started the previous four games, and he has a completion rate of 66.5% to go along with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Smith is a more mobile quarterback than Morton and could be utilized in Wildcat situations as well.
With the Mountaineers' injuries in the secondary, Texas Tech should be able to take advantage of that and cover easily.
West Virginia vs Texas Tech Over/Under analysis
The total on this game opened at 72 and quickly dropped to 64.5 because of all the injury concerns. I don’t think it has adjusted properly, considering that several of the players that were thought to be questionable at the start of the week are now probable to play.
The trends point toward the Over in this game. The Red Raiders are 4-0 on the Over following a bye week, and the team is 5-1 on the Over in their last six games overall. The Over is also 5-2 in their last seven conference games.
West Virginia has also been scoring their share of points this season. The Mountaineers are averaging 39 points a game and scored 43 against Baylor and 42 against Kansas.
With Texas Tech now No. 39 in the country in scoring (averaging 34.5 points per game), I am confident the Red Raiders will score over that average, especially with a hobbled West Virginia secondary. The Mountaineers are No. 20 in the country in scoring, averaging 38.7 points per game.
The Red Raiders are 56th in total defense, limiting opponents to 367 yards per game. There should be more than enough offense from both teams to push this game over the total of 64.5 points.
West Virginia vs Texas Tech betting trend to know
The Mountaineers are 3-7 ATS in the two teams' last 10 meetings. Find more NCAA betting trends for West Virginia vs. Texas Tech.
West Virginia vs Texas Tech game info
|Location:||Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX|
|Date:||Saturday, October 22, 2022|
|Kickoff:||3:00 p.m. ET|
West Virginia vs Texas Tech latest injuries
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