West Virginia fans are anticipating the upcoming football season and counting down the days until kickoff. There is now less than a month until the state’s major gridiron teams take the field.
Plenty of bettors will also be hoping the state has mobile betting option for football season. Whether that happens remains to be seen. But WV bettors near the state’s three live land-based sportsbooks will be heading to the betting windows.
Currently, sports bettors have a choice of three live betting venues.
The West Virginia Lottery has also already approved three online sports betting apps:
There isn’t an official timeline for launch, but there are some rumblings that either DraftKings or FanDuel will be live by college football.
With the season approaching, here’s a look at the two teams’ training camp schedules as they prepare for the upcoming season.
New coach leads Mountaineers into the season
The biggest news of the offseason might be what to expect with new coach Neal Brown taking over. WVU finished 8-4 finish in 2018-19, fourth in the Big 12 with a 6-3 conference record.
Brown ended his run at Troy with three straight 10-win seasons. WVU fans are hoping he can bring that level of success to Morgantown.
The team kicks off the season at home on Aug. 31 against James Madison and were set to begin summer practice on Aug 2. The next few weeks are critical as Brown has the daunting task of picking his starting quarterback. Here’s a look at what to expect in the coming days before the season officially begins.
- Aug. 1 – Players report to campus and attend their first team functions
- Aug. 2 – First practice of the new season
- Aug. 3 – Media Day and fans are welcome
- Aug. 7 – Off day for players
- Aug. 16 – Off day for players
- Aug. 19 – Classes begin and the team will have 14 practices already
- Aug. 26 – Big 12 teleconference scheduled to discuss season
- Aug. 27 – Neal Brown holds his preseason press conference
- Aug. 31 – First game of the season at home against James Madison
For bettors, a team with a new coach may be a sign to take caution, but there may be some value. The Mountaineers should be a heavy favorite against James Madison and don’t rule them out against some Big 12 favorites.
The Mountaineers finished last season 6-4-2 against the spread. A similar finish in 2019-20 offers bettors a nice chance at a winning season putting money on the blue and gold.
Marshall begins preparing for a new season
The Marshall Thundering Herd is also preparing for the upcoming season. The team finished 9-4 in 2018, good for second place in the Conference USA East division.
Head coach Doc Holliday held his preseason news conference on Aug. 1 and is ready to begin practice. Holliday spoke about his excitement to the Huntington Herald-Dispatch:
“I’m just excited to get going. I know our kids are looking forward to it, as well. They’ve had a great summer. We’ve got a challenging schedule, as you all know, and a lot of expectations. Fans’ (expectations) are extremely high, which is a good thing. That’s the way it’s supposed to be here at Marshall.”
This season, the Herd was picked the top team in the east in the Conference USA preseason media poll. Pollsters tabbed North Texas as the top team in the west.
📢: Announcing the 2019 #CUSAFB Preseason Poll as voted on by the media! Where did your team end up? 🤔
— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) July 16, 2019
Media members picked Marshall as a favorite in the 2014 poll, and the team won the conference championship. Hopes are high for a repeat performance this year.
Marshall gets the season started on Aug. 31 at home against the Virginia Military Institute. Training camp begins Aug. 2 and opens to Big Green members, season ticket-holders, and Marshall students.
Here’s a look at key dates in the team’s training camp schedule:
- Aug. 1 – Players report for first-team activities
- Aug. 2 – First day of training camp begins
- Aug. 4 – Fan Day set for 4-6 p.m. (EST)
- Aug. 9 – The team hosts Big Green and Season Ticketholder Appreciation Night
- Aug. 26 – First day of classes
- Aug. 31 – The Herd hosts VMI to start the season
The Herd returns some quality starters, including quarterback Isaiah Green. Much of the offensive line and running backs Brenden Knox and Tyler King also come back.
A look at some betting angles
No lines are available for the first games for Marshall or WVU yet, but both should be nice favorites. James Madison is an FCS team and moves up in class to challenge the Mountaineers on the road.
A hefty double-digit point spread is to be expected. Bettors will have to decide if the Mountaineers can get things going early enough under a new coach to cover against the Dukes.
Marshall also battles an FCS team when they host VMI’s Keydets in the opening game of the season. Look for the Herd to be a nice home favorite and a few dollars on the team wouldn’t be a bad wager.
Will West Virginians have a mobile option to bet statewide when its two teams kick off the season? Bettors are hoping.
If the market and industry are going to grow, mobile betting is key. Football is the biggest betting season of the year, and getting a platform online would be a big step forward.