College football handicappers have noticed a different Mack Brown on the sidelines during the 2012 season, as his Texas Longhorns are off to a perfect start heading into their Big 12 Conference showdown with the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday night inside Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.
The Longhorns are listed as six-point home favorites in the current Week 6 college football betting odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total is holding firm at 74.5 in the marketplace.
Let's take a closer look at this high-profile affair from a betting perspective, while also providing an against-the-spread pick along the way.
The West Virginia Mountaineers will be one of the more popular road underdogs to wager on, considering they just picked up a 70-63 win over the Baylor Bears as 11.5-point home favorites last week.
Heisman Trophy favorite Geno Smith continues to put up video game-type numbers under center, which has resulted in the program leading the country in averaging 441.5 passing yards per game.
Smith will be playing his first true road game of the 2012 campaign on Saturday, entering Texas with 1,728 passing yards and 20 touchdowns without an interception.
The Texas Longhorns have also demonstrated the ability to score points in bunches, which played a big role in the team's 41-36 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys as two-point road favorites last week.
David Ash isn't getting the same amount of attention that Geno Smith's receiving in the national media, but he sits second nationally with an impressive 184.0 passer rating.
Sports bettors should gain confidence in playing the Longhorns this weekend due to their 3-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record as a favorite this year.
I reached out to Jimmy Vaccaro earlier this week about this high-profile affair. He serves as the public relations director for William Hill US, and here's what he had to say:
West Virginia just scored. In all seriousness, Texas got a bit lucky last week at Oklahoma State, while West Virginia went absolutely wild on Baylor. This is a true offense vs. defense scenario, and I see the same situation both experienced a week ago: A close game that comes down to the final two minutes.
I'm going to recommend that readers play the home favorite in this Big 12 Conference matchup, as I feel the Texas Longhorns have a great opportunity of winning the rushing, time of possession and turnover battle in this contest.
As discussed in the video, there's been eight games featuring ranked opponents, with one side winning all three phases during the 2012 college football season. The result is a dominating 7-1 ATS record.
Hook 'em Horns.
College Football Week 6 Pick: Texas Longhorns -6