Oklahoma Sooners vs West Virginia Mountaineers Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

Oklahoma and West Virginia played a crazy game in Morgantown in 2012 that saw offenses combine for more than 1,400 yards and the lead change hands four times in the last eight minutes.

The Sooners scored with 20 seconds to go to win 50-49, but the Mountaineers covered the spread as 11-point home dogs.

The second edition of this new conference rivalry goes off Saturday night in Norman and oddsmakers don't believe it will nearly as wide-open or nearly as close, based on the odds aggregated from OddsShark.com.

Early this week, many college football betting outlets opened this game with Oklahoma favored by 19 points, but as of Friday, the Sooners had been bet up to 21-point favorites at most shops.

OU opened this season last Saturday with a 34-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. The Sooners ran for 305 yards, and held the Warhawks to 166 total yards on their way to covering the spread as 21-point favorites.

West Virginia, meanwhile, opened its season Saturday with a 24-17 win over FCS William & Mary. The Mountaineers actually trailed 17-7 at the half, and needed a short touchdown run from Wendell Smallwood with just over two minutes to go to break a 17-17 tie and avoid an embarrassing upset.

West Virginia never came remotely close to covering the spread Saturday as 32-point favorites against an FCS outfit that went 2-9 last year.

Oklahoma only has 11 starters back from last year. Seven are back on offense including leading rusher Damien Williams and four along the offensive line. But only four starters are back on defense, with just one on the line and one in the secondary.

The Sooners had to replace QB Landry Jones, last year's top two receivers and four of last year's top five tacklers.

West Virginia only has 10 starters back from last season, but just three on offense. Seven starters have come back on defense, including four of last year's top five tacklers. Among others, the Mountaineers have had to replace QB Geno Smith, who's an underdog in his first career start for the New York Jets on Sunday and three receivers who combined to catch 289 balls last season.

In that crazy game last year, Jones and Smith combined to throw for almost 900 yards and 10 touchdowns. But those two are gone, replaced by redshirt freshman Trevor Knight for Oklahoma and junior Paul Millard for West Virginia.

Saturday's Big 12 opener in Norman will be televised live by Fox beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Computer Prediction: Oklahoma 53-26, courtesy of OddsShark.com

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