West Virginia and Louisville in Big East Showdown

Two of the six remaining unbeaten teams in college football battle in what many are calling the greatest game in the history of Thursday Night Football. In what could decide who plays the Ohio State-Michigan winner, the 7-0, 3rd ranked West Virginia Mountaineers visit the 7-0, 5th ranked Louisville Cardinals as 1.5 point underdogs.

Even though both defenses are allowing less than 14 points per game, something is due to give as there are only three teams in the entire country averaging over seven yards per play: Hawaii at 7.99, Louisville at 7.41 and West Virginia at 7.26.


Last year as a 7 point favorite Louisville blew a 24-7 4th quarter lead in Morgantown and eventually lost 46-44 in triple overtime to West Virginia. More importantly, the 2nd half of last year’s game saw the emergence of West Virginia QB Pat White and RB Steve Slaton who came in to lead the charge scoring six times between them and earning the starting jobs the rest of the season. The tandem of White and Slaton have not lost a game since taking over the starting jobs in that game which adds even more excitement to this Big East Super Bowl.

Line movement:

The game opened at a pick and has been bet to Louisville -1.5 as of Wednesday night. You can check out the latest line by clicking here.

Public opinion:

According to the latest update from our Betting Charts, 80% of the public is taking West Virginia + the points on the road. You can check the latest numbers by clicking here.

Game factors:

Can West Virginia hit the magic number of 28? When scoring 28+, the Mountaineers have covered 11 straight against the number.

Surviving the 1st quarter. We know that a game is four quarters, but West Virginia has come out firing all season and has outscored opponents 80-14 in the first quarter.

One dimensional. No one disputes the awesome running game of West Virginia (ranked #1 in the country), but do not forget that the Cardinals can bang you both ways, ranking 7th in rushing and 10th in passing nationally. West Virginia on the flip side has zero offense without the run and it shows by being ranked 110th in passing.

Coaching adjustments. Can Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino continue his coaching magic coming out of half time. The past three seasons the Cardinals have come out for the 3rd quarter and dominated opponents by a 369-104 edge.

Besides looking to avenge last seasons choke job, Louisville is going for their 16th straight win at home and will be playing in front of a pumped home crowd in the biggest football game in school history.

Sportsbook Insider says:

Louisville has used the home field the past three seasons to trounce opponents by an average score of 50-14. Obviously we do not think Louisville will put up these kinds of numbers on West Virginia, but we back the sharp action and think the Cardinals get the job done at home. West Virginia will be the best running game Louisville will see all year, but don’t forgot the Cardinals have only allowed two rushing touchdowns this season. Louisville will be prepared to limit the running game of the Mountaineers by clogging up the rush lanes and practiced all week using backup receivers to simulate Mountaineer QB Pat White. West Virginia will not be able to pass downfield, but do not expect the same for Louisville. The Cardinals will go deep early under QB Brian Brohm on their way to a victory for the home faithful.
Prediction: Louisville 27 West Virginia 17

by: Anthony White - theSpread.com - Email Us

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