Morgantown, West Virginia – When the West Virginia Mountaineers (6-6) meet the Minnesota Gophers (8-4) in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl tonight at 10:15 in Phoenix, Arizona, the Mountaineers have not been given much of a chance to win, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Minnesota, currently a 5 point favorite to beat West Virginia, has a 61.2% chance of winning on ESPN’s matchup predictor, giving the Mountaineers only a 38.8% chance of beating the Gophers.
The ESPN FPI is a predictive rating system that uses advanced analytics to evaluate team strength and aims to share how each team will fare in a given matchup. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations, results to date and the schedules each team have faced. Over the last 10 seasons, the FPI favorite has won 75 percent of games, which is comparable to the Vegas closing line.
West Virginia faces a major uphill battle tonight against Minnesota. The Gophers are ranked 4th in the nation in total defense, allowing only 284.8 yards and 18.3 points per game. With West Virginia’s top offensive threat, Leddie Brown, deciding to opt out to prepare for the NFL Draft, the Mountaineers will need to play their best game of the season offensively to be competitive tonight.