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How and what to watch for West Virginia vs. #12 Iowa State

Iowa State is coming off the biggest win of the season over Texas, but will they let the foot off the gas this week?

 Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy looks to handoff the football to running back Breece Hall during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Iowa State Cyclones on November 27, 2020 at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 7-2 Iowa State Cyclones are coming off their biggest win of the season last weekend, they look to keep that momentum going as they welcome in the 5-3 West Virginia Mountaineers to Ames on Saturday afternoon.

West Virginia has been a solid team this season on defense, giving up just 3.3 yards per carry. That will be an interesting matchup against a Cyclone offense that gets close to 200 yards on the ground each game, led by RB Breece Hall. The Mountaineers don’t give up a ton through the air either, ranking second in the nation for defensive passing efficiency.

Offense is where WVU will struggle. Iowa State is a pretty complete team, ranking in the top 30 in most advanced defensive statistical categories. The one area of the game where WVU is above average, passing success rate, is the weakest link in ISU’s defense, ranking 55th in the country. Everywhere else though it’s a huge mismatch in favor of the Cyclones. If West Virginia wants any shot to pull off the upset, quarterback Jaret Doege will have to have the game of his life and the defense will have to add on to its 12 takeaways on the season.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch West Virginia vs. Iowa State on Saturday, December 5th at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: West Virginia vs. Iowa State (-6)
Point Total: 49
Money line: West Virginia (+215) vs. Iowa State (-275)

  • WVU has been a safe bet in recent weeks, going 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine
  • The stifling defense has kept totals low, the under has hit in nine of the Mountaineers’ last 13.
  • Like West Virginia, Iowa State has had success against the spread, going 5-2 in their last seven
  • The under has hit in all but two of the Cyclone’s last six.

Betting splits

West Virginia: (42% of handle, 23% percent of bets)
Iowa State: (58% of handle, 77% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

The defenses in this one are quite good by Big 12 standards and they both take the ball away a decent amount. The spread is a little too wide for me in this one, but based on recent trends and how good these defenses are there’s a clear choice.

Pick: Under 49

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