If UNLV is bringing Las Vegas to Morgantown, we're bringing Las Vegas to you. I've never actually been to Vegas (that I remember...or that I could tell you about if I did remember), but I have watched 21, The Hangover, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in immediate succession, so I'm clearly qualified to blog about Sin City. Disagree? 5th Year Senior will be over shortly to repossess your kneecaps.
Where were we? Ah, Vegas. We all know about the lines and the over/unders, and the weird bets you can make on the first letter of the last name of the player who makes the first tackle in the Super Bowl, and we'll leave all that to the amateurs. We here at The Smoking Musket bring you the real odds, the real lines, and the real parlays from the only game that really matters in Morgantown this weekend: UNLV at WVU.* Welcome to the first, and probably only Gamblers Guide to WVU football, where we break down the odds of the aspects of WVU football that really matter to you, the casual (or not so casual) fan.
Odds, tips, tricks, and insider trading information to follow after the jump.
*DISCLAIMER: for entertainment purposes only.
WVU OVER/UNDER 40 points:
WVU hasn't scored over 35 points since the first game of the 2008 season, and it's not about to break that streak now. UNLV has given up points in bunches, but Jeff Mullen's offense tops out in 3rd gear. Couple that with Noel Devine's injury status and you likely won't see much of the playbook on Saturday. UNDER.
Speaking of Devine and his peg leg, the line:
Noel Devine OVER/UNDER 15 touches:
Devine is still recovering from the foot bruise that kept him out of much of the LSU game, and with the USF game looming 5 days later, he likely won't see much action against UNLV either. That being said, he needs to play enough to win the game. I'd love for him to get about 12 carries for 135 yards and 3 touchdowns and call it a day with WVU up 31-3 midway through the third quarter. But I've seen our offense this year, and I know it's going to be closer than that going into the 4th. OVER.
So if UNLV is going to get on the board, who is going to be credited with the first points of the game? . . . the line:
Noel Devine: 8 to 1
Tyler Bitancurt: 10 to 1
Jock Sanders: 12 to 1
Geno Smith: 15 to 1
Tavon Austin: 15 to 1
UNLV: 20 to 1
Another WVU player: 25 to 1
I'd love to see Devine break one on the first play from scrimmage or Geno sneak one in from the 6 after a lengthy first drive. But I have a feeling Tavon Austin is due to take another kickoff back to the house, sending the Mountaineer Field crowd into a frenzy. Which is good, because the crowd will need a spark right after UNLV kicks a field goal to go up 3-0. UNLV.
The crowd should be interesting on Saturday, the line:
Attendance OVER/UNDER 57,500.
The Maryland crowd was fantastic. In fact, it was one of the best noon crowds I've seen since 2004, when WVU beat Maryland in OT to end Maryland's 4-game winning streak against us. I'm not quite sure what to think about this weekend. On one hand, it's a 3:30 kickoff on what should be a beautiful fall weekend in the Mountain State. On the other hand, some of the excitement has disippated thanks to the loss at LSU and the fact that we're playing UNLV. In the end, the chance to tailgate and spend a sunny Saturday afternoon watching the Mounties kick the snot out of a MWC opponent should prevail. OVER (but barely).
Tailgating---lots to be done on Saturday. The line:
5th Year Senior (-3.5 beers) @ Charley West.
I'm not a fan of picking against home underdogs. If it were a noon kickoff, I might give Charley the edge here. But after the Shotgun/Throwdown, I have a feeling Charley might switch to bourbon or perhaps a bloody mary, allowing 5YS to jump out to an early lead from which Charley won't be able to come back. Take 5YS and the beers.
Tailgating is certainly important, but there's a fine line to be drawn when the Pride is taking the field, which begs the question of who will be in the stadium first. The line:
Country Roads: 3 to 2
5th Year Senior: 5 to 1
WVUIE97: 5 to 1
Charley West: 10 to 1
The 25314: 28 to 1
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that my mother will be attending the game with me this week, which will likely limit my tailgating time. Although, you can probably find me at the Boston Beanery for the noon games munching on a Ranch Roast Beef sandwich and downing an ice-cold Yuengling. But rest assured, we will be in the stadium in plenty of time to see the Pride's full routine. And warm-ups. And stretching. And the camera crews setting up. And the sun rise. Okay, maybe not the sun. But still, in my stone-cold lock of the week, bet the house on Country Roads.
Finally, the most important stat of the day (not number of shoes thrown by 5YS or number of times someone in Section 231 calls for Mullen to be fired); the line:
WVU record on 10/10/10 OVER/UNDER 3.5-1.
Sorry, this really isn't much of a pick. But I had to find a creative way to make my prediction. WVU 38 UNLV 10. OVER.