With Week 0 having come and gone, it’s time to get started with the first “official” week of the College Football season. One of the first matchups, West Virginia, vs Pittsburgh, includes two recently transferred and highly-regarded quarterbacks.
How will the Kenny Pickett-less Panthers do in this one? Let’s find out.
Bonus Code WIN$100
Bet $20 Win $200
21+ CO, VA, MI Only | Terms and conditions apply
While Kenny Pickett has left Pittsburgh and gone onto the NFL, they’ll have a new quarterback in town who was once regarded as a top future draft choice in Kedon Slovis.
Slovis transferred this offseason from USC following Caleb Williams and Lincoln Riley coming over from Oklahoma. Interestingly, top Pittsburgh receiver Jordan Addison also left to head to USC.
On the other side, West Virginia will also have a quarterback who transferred in, former Georgia Bulldog and USC Trojan J.T. Daniels.
In fact, Daniel and Slovis were teammates at USC before Daniels transferred to Georgia.
On the field, Daniels will finally get to show his once former five-star recruit self.
It’ll be a fascinating matchup in the trenches between the Mountaineer’s offensive line and the Panther’s front seven.
According to Pro Football Focus, Mountaineers center, Zach Frazier ranks inside the top 25 at the position, and the rest of the offensive line is around average.
The Panthers defensive line is led by Calijah Kancey, a fantastic pass rusher.
Their secondary is OK, too, but they’ll be able to get by against this West Virginia. However, there’s one caveat: Mountaineers sophomore Kaden Prather.
Standing 6’4” and over 210 pounds, Prather did fairly well as a freshman in a limited sample size. He could be viewed as a dark horse for a top option for Daniels on the outside. He’ll have a beatable matchup against Panthers cornerbacks M.J. Devonshire and A.J. Woods.
Passing the ball, Slovis and Daniels should be fairly on par. Still, Slovis will face a harder cornerback unit with the Mountaineers sporting Charles Woods, one of the country’s best cornerbacks. From Week 9 on last year, Woods allowed just eight yards with one interception in their bowl game against Minnesota.
One option for Slovis and Pittsburgh could be to rely on Israel Abanikanda to control the pace of the game. In 2021, Abanikanda averaged over five yards per carry on 123 carries and had seven touchdowns. He’s a larger back at 5’11” and 215 pounds.
These two quarterbacks are college football veterans, but there’s still something to be said about playing in your first real game with a new team and getting acclimated to the situation.
The goal for Pittsburgh here should be to get Abanikanda working early to establish the pace of the game and control the clock.
Suppose the Mountaineers can keep pace despite this potential disparity. Slovis has the harder matchup throwing the ball in that case, while the Mountaineers have a more balanced opposition.
There aren’t any stud receivers or running backs at West Virginia heading into the season, but again, the Daniels and Prather connection is something to look for.
All this, combined with it being the first game of the season and on a new team for these quarterbacks, we could see a closer final score.
Take the Mountaineers +7.5 (-110)
Impressive range of bonuses
Large selection of games
Bet $100 get a $100 FREE BET
21+ | T&Cs apply
Wide range of betting options
Top notch customer service
Promo Code 'SPORTS'
$500 Free Bet
21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500
College Football National Championship Predictions & Odds
NCAAF | 9 January - 09:08 | Richard Janvrin
Georgia vs. TCU Best Bets | College Football Playoff Championship
NCAAF | 6 January - 04:37 | Richard Janvrin
Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Utah Odds, Picks, Predictions
NCAAF | 2 January - 09:49 | Richard Janvrin
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. If you feel like you're losing control over your gambling experience, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-522-4700 (NV), 1-800-522-4700 (CO, TN), 1-855-2CALLGA (IL), 1-800-270-7117 (MI).
WSN.com is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.