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STAFF PICKS: West Virginia vs. the Missouri Tigers

We couldn’t round out our pre-game content without giving you our staff predictions.

FRANCE-GAME-POKER Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Every week, the Smoking Musket staff will test out our sure to be less-than-stellar gambling skills, as we make picks in four categories: straight-up, against the spread, over/under, and a special prop bet to be determined each week. We will each start with $500 in Musket Money™, and each bet will be worth $100.

Last week’s game saw the Mountaineers win 20-13, so we had a push on that bet. Also, Matt was busy with podcast and Q&A duty this week and I didn’t take these bets until last minute, so he’ll hold tight at $600.

In addition to the degenerate gambling, we’ll be giving our straight up, detailed predictions as to how we think that week’s game will go. So, without further ado...

Nick Shoemaker

Well I was overconfident with my prediction last week, so I’m going to pull the reins this week. I think WVU will put up a good fight this week and the defense will keep the Mountaineers in the game, but I think the offensive line will continue to struggle. I think Missouri will come out on top in this one, but it will be respectable.

West Virginia 24 - Missouri 28

Jordan Pinto

Don’t let that Wyoming game fool you - this is a good football team that I’m expecting to play much better at home. Kelly Bryant is probably gonna knock a few years off our lives, but I think we run it well enough to keep it close and hit enough big plays to get us over the line.

West Virginia 30 - Missouri 27


Missouri got bodied at Wyoming last week. They will either be hungry or come out flat. WVU looked shaky in their first game of the Neal Brown era, but showed glimpses of good things, party on defense. At Troy, Brown made a habit of road upsets, this could be one.

West Virginia 21 - Missouri 17


Did Missouri look bad on the road at Wyoming last week? Yes. Did West Virginia under perform against James Madison at home last week? Yes. Does that matter this week? Yes.

This will be a difficult matchup for the Mountaineers as Missouri is a markedly better offense of team and then what they test last week. This is concerning because West Virginia’s offense looked “vanilla” at best. The Tigers will likely put up a lot of yards and I’m not sure WVU can keep up. The key is the turnover battle, which WVU won in their game against JMU. The Mountaineers are able to force a couple turnovers and actually capitalize to keep this game within the spread.

West Virginia 24 - Missouri 34

John Radcliff

I wish I had a good feeling about this. You wouldn’t think it was possible for us to take a step backwards offensively, but that’s what I expect. I think we’ll be fine defensively. But they’ll get worn down and it’ll get out of hand late.

West Virginia 10 - Missouri 27

Robert Hurst

WVU will hold Missouri to about what Wyoming did- but WVU won’t be able to score in the thirties. This one is another ugly one, and WVU isn’t there yet.

West Virginia 24 - Missouri 34

Tyler Brewster

Mizzou controls the game, making up for their blunder in Wyoming, WVU’s offensive struggles continue and the Tigers beat WVU in their home opener.

West Virginia 21 - Missouri 31

Michael Miller

Second week in a row where I have no earthly idea what to think about this game. Coming into the season, I expected us to lose by three touchdowns. The Tigers losing to Wyoming last week gave some pause to that thinking. We really didn’t see anything out of the Mountaineers last week. Was it really just vanilla playcalling, or are we just not good at all on offense? My gut says is the latter.

I think our defense, surprisingly, keeps this one close for most of the game, but Kendall and the offense just can’t do enough to maintain a lead. Missouri wins this one late.

West Virginia 17 - Missouri 28


MIZZOU is gonna shake, rattle and roll us. Yes, they gave up a few hundred yards to Wyoming but make no mistake, the Tigers are not a bad team. They are, in fact, a really good team and Kelly Bryant is a really good quarterback. I think Mizzou jumps up early before WVU gets on the board. Unfortunately, Missouri will be too much this game and will keep WVU at arms length the whole time. Another 400 plus for Bryant through the air.

West Virginia 21 - Missouri 49