Here is everything you need to know, from current college football betting odds to DFS picks and fantasy football players to play included in our Baylor vs. West Virginia prediction.
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Baylor vs. West Virginia Betting Preview
Baylor (-165); WVU (+140)
- Game time
7 p.m. ET
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
- Predicted weather at kickoff
55 degrees, clear skies, 4-6 mph winds
A must-win game on both sides of the equation here headlines the Thursday night slate in college football. Baylor is looking to stay at or near the top of the Big 12 standings, while West Virginia is hoping to avoid an 0-3 start in conference play. Both sides have a road map to victory, but before we get there, we’ll address the fantasy plays for tonight.
Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
- QB Blake Shapen, Baylor ($10,200)
- QB JT Daniels, West Virginia ($9,500)
- RB Richard Reese, Baylor ($9,200)
- RB Justin Johnson Jr., West Virginia ($7,500)
- RB Tony Mathis Jr., West Virginia ($7,100)
- RB Qualan Jones, Baylor ($5,600)
- RB Craig Williams, Baylor ($5,200)
- WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia ($9,800)
- WR Monaray Baldwin, Baylor ($9,000)
- WR Kaden Prather, West Virginia ($6,700)
- WR Sam James, West Virginia ($6,500)
- WR Gavin Holmes, Baylor ($6,000)
- WR Hal Presley, Baylor ($5,400)
- WR Reese Smith, West Virginia ($5,000)
- WR Josh Cameron, Baylor ($4,900)
- WR Seth Jones, Baylor ($4,800)
- TE Ben Sims, Baylor ($6,200)
- TE Drake Dabney, Baylor ($4,600)
- TE Mike O’Laughlin, West Virginia ($4,500)
With the pass-happy offense that is WVU’s, it’s been interesting to witness their near-balanced attack work this season. While most of that is due to CJ Donaldson Jr.’s impact this year, he’s out of this contest after last week’s scary injury. As such, one could only expect to see a heavy dose of the Air Raid in action against Baylor.
That makes JT Daniels an interesting proposal at his current rate. It also makes Bryce Ford-Wheaton a must-grab despite his high ticket price. Starting Ford-Wheaton is a no-brainer as he leads the team in targets and is second in the Big 12.
As far as the rest of the players go in tonight’s outing, a few options to explore based on your spending are Kaden Prather and Monaray Baldwin. The last time we saw Baldwin, he was still running against Oklahoma State.
However, he’s only been targeted more than two times in a game in one outing against FBS competition and is a high-ceiling but incredibly low-floor prospect against WVU’s defense.
Prather is a touchdown-dependent player who Daniels does indeed look to in important situations. He may not lead the team in yards, but he’s surely expected to get the looks his way.
Prediction for Baylor vs. West Virginia
There is no denying the fact that West Virginia is going to want to air it out with JT Daniels and Graham Harrell. And as good as Baylor was at defending the pass last season, they’ve seen a marked drop-off in that department this season. Currently, the Bears rank 61st across the nation in passing yards allowed per game.
They’ve given up yards, but they’ve also not allowed much in the way of points through the air. Baylor’s unit has seemingly bent but hasn’t broken too much in 2022. Importantly for this week, Baylor has also had a week off to get healthy.
Al Walcott, playing in Baylor’s STAR role as a hybrid slot defensive back, has been exceptional this season. He’ll be called upon a lot in coverage against WVU.
That’s a matchup that favors the Baylor defense, as Walcott has shown the ability to stick with pass catchers of all sizes, speeds, and types this year. Walcott is a big man but understands leverage and his playing speed better than most. He’ll blow up a wide screen or take away underneath slant routes with his instincts and burst to the football just as easily.
The rest of Baylor’s defensive backs have been solid but not exceptional in 2022. Cornerbacks AJ McCarty and Lorando Johnson have combined for but a handful of plays on the ball. Safety Christian Morgan has brought leadership and experience as he’s re-entered the lineup.
As much as WVU will look to air it out, Donaldson’s health will take center stage after exiting the game against Oklahoma State and having to go to the hospital, presumably as a precaution.
Donaldson’s absence in this matchup gives more touches for Tony Mathis Jr. (4.2 yards per carry) and Justin Johnson Jr. (4.7 ypc). The Mountaineers have been remarkably balanced so far this season, but it hasn’t brought in the wins many thought it could.
Donaldson has been their most productive player, and his absence from this game will force the ball to the air more. That bodes well for the Bears.
Prediction: Baylor 29, West Virginia 21