A battle for first place in the Big 12 is among Saturday's marquee college football contests as the Texas Longhorns host the West Virginia Mountaineers at 3:30 p.m. ET. The winner is guaranteed at least a share of first place in the conference and will be in a prime position to compete for a berth in the Big 12 title game. The matchup features two of the better quarterbacks in the country in Heisman candidate Will Grier of West Virginia and rugged dual-threat Sam Ehlinger of Texas. The Longhorns opened as 2.5-point favorites, but this game has now moved to a pick'em in the latest Texas vs. West Virginia odds. The Over-Under for total points scored has held steady at 58. Before you lock in your Texas vs. West Virginia picks, listen to what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.
A Nevada-based expert with 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in handicapping college athletics. He's having another solid season for SportsLine members, hitting on 60 percent of his spread selections. Moreover, he's had a sharp eye for handicapping the Big 12 and has been especially efficient with these two programs. Over the past two seasons, he has an incredible 9-0 record against the spread on games involving either Texas or West Virginia.
Just last week, Nagel advised SportsLine members that surging Texas (-3.5) was likely to hit a letdown spot against an Oklahoma State club that would be desperate to end its two-game losing streak. The Cowboys led wire-to-wire in their 38-35 victory, and anyone who followed Nagel's analysis notched another easy winner.
Now, Nagel has studied Texas vs. West Virginia from every possible angle and released a strong point-spread selection that is available at SportsLine.
Perhaps the biggest positive for the Longhorns from last week's loss was the performance of Ehlinger, whose rapid development suggests coach Tom Herman has found the quarterback he needs to help restore the program into a perennial contender. The highly recruited dual-threat was the subject of some skepticism among Longhorns supporters ever since he was named the starter midway through last season. But it's fair to say he's proving his doubters wrong.
Ehlinger accounted for 386 total yards and five touchdowns in the upset of Oklahoma, along with leading the game-winning drive for a field goal as time expired. He rallied the Longhorns last week with a series of big plays in the passing game and with his legs. Ehlinger had 330 total yards and four touchdowns in the loss.
The Mountaineers (6-1) had their own letdown three weeks ago in a 30-14 loss at Iowa State, but following a bye, they hammered Baylor last week in what resembled a glorified scrimmage. Heisman hopeful Will Grier threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns on a short day's work in the blowout. The Mountaineers used a balanced rushing attack to gain 174 yards. The defense forced four turnovers and held the Bears to 287 total yards.
West Virginia put the game away early despite missing two field goals in the first quarter and failing to convert on a handful of big-play opportunities.
We can tell you Nagel is leaning toward the Under, and he's also identified a crucial X-factor that he believes makes one side of the a must-back. He's only sharing it at SportsLine.
Who covers in Texas vs. West Virginia? And what crucial X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side you need to jump all over Saturday, all from the expert who's 9-0 on games involving these teams.