Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Pittsburgh @ West Virginia


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The “Backyard Brawl” on the hardwood takes place for college basketball betting fans on Monday night when the Pittsburgh Panthers look to continue their winning ways against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The Panthers essentially hit the self-destruct button this year to start off the Big East campaign, but all of a sudden, an upset in this one and they are probably going to be right back on the bubble once again. They have won back to back home games, including beating the No. 10 Georgetown Hoyas over the weekend in what truly amounted to be a “get better” game for the team. Pittsburgh truly needs to keep its foot on the gas pedal though, as 13 or 14 losses is a real possibility and probably won’t get the job done. That means that there are going to have to be road wins to counter all of the home losses to teams like the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Cincinnati Bearcats, and Wagner Seahawks, and all of that starts right here at West Virginia. Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson are the two big time veterans on this team that can make a difference, and they both had huge games against a great Georgetown team over the weekend. If they can step it up again in this one, Pitt might be able to come on the road and pull out a huge victory that would go a long way towards improving its chances of getting into the dance.

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West Virginia had a chance to stamp its season with a win on the road at the Carrier Dome against the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, but it just wasn’t able to get the job done thanks to a very suspect goaltending call late on in the game. Still, it was a loss of which there was nothing to be ashamed of, though the Mountaineers, like the Panthers, are still really looking for that signature win. This is a bad spot for the boys from Morgantown, because a loss would suddenly leave the team at 15-8 and with a somewhat suspect resume to build off of, and a win is basically expected. Kevin Jones and Darryl Bryant are continuing their big time seasons for the blue and gold. Jones is one of the top players in the entire country, and he is one of the best scorers (20.9 points per game) and one of the best rebounders (11.4 boards per game) as well. Bryant takes a ton of shots to get to his 17.1 points per game, and he is only shooting 37.1 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc. Still, both can get the job done and drop 20 on anyone in the conference, and that includes these Panthers for sure.

The Final Word: The Mountaineers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games, and we have yet to really see U-Pitt play that big time road game this year to make us think that an upset could be in the cards. However, historically, the Panthers are 3-0 SU and ATS in this series since February 2010, and we think that they can come into Morgantown and at least put up a heck of a fight.

Pittsburgh Panthers @ West Virginia Mountaineers Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers +6.5

Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.