As the Senior Writer for the most popular, widely-read West Virginia sports media outlet in the world, I make an incredible living financially. With well over 1,000,000 pageviews in the month of September alone (dwarfing the “competition”), Mountaineer Sports continues to grow and expand, and I get paid handsomely for my irreplaceable contributions. While $10,000 seems like a lot to many West Virginians, it just really doesn’t mean that much to me.
With that said, $10,000 is still a lot of money! I’m so confident that the West Virginia Mountaineers will not only cover the ridiculously erroneous line of 9.0 points, I put a “rack” (slang for $10,000 in a bundle of hundred dollar bills) on the Mountaineers winning the game outright.
Placing $10,000 on West Virginia to win outright will pay approximately $26,000 and I fully expect to be $16,000 richer this time next week. I don’t often make bets, particularly on sporting events where so many factors must be weighed and the odds of beating the system are so low, but this particular bet was so automatic, so delicious, that I simply couldn’t pass it up.
From a Las Vegas point of view, the line makes some sense. Iowa State (3-2) has lost twice but by a total of 3 points (17-18 to #17 ranked Iowa and 21-23 to #22 ranked Baylor).
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They have a talented quarterback in Brock Prudy, who stepped in last year as a true Freshman and turned Iowa State’s season around from a 1-3 start to 7-2 in the final 9 games with him leading the team. Their Head Coach, Matt Campbell, in his 4th season in Ames, is the real deal and is really too good of a coach to be coaching Iowa State. The Cyclones’ defense is always good, leading the Big 12 in scoring defense last year (22.9 points per game) and ranked 9th nationally in yards per rush allowed (3.2 yards per rush).
However, Iowa State has not been particularly impressive this season. The Cyclones’ 49-21 win last week at home against TCU should have been a much closer game than the score indicated due to some major mental miscues in the first half by TCU. They also beat LA-Monroe 72-20 and squeaked out a victory over Northern Iowa in overtime 29-26.
While Iowa State has been solid against the run (113.6 yard per game), they rank 77th in the country against the pass (234.4 yards per game). Austin Kendall, coming off a four interception game against Texas, will be dialed in and ready to exploit the Cyclones’ weak secondary. Without Sean Ryan and potentially Sam James, West Virginia has plenty of young wide receivers that can step and produce (Bryce Wheaton, Tevin Bush, Winston Wright, Ali Jennings, etc.).
This feels like a breakout game for the West Virginia passing game and not only will they cover the spread, the Mountaineers will beat the Iowa State Cyclones outright and I will be $16,000 richer. If we happen to lose, I’ll be just fine; I work for the leading West Virginia sports media outlet and I get paid.