NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers (9-1) at West Virginia Mountaineers (7-3)
Friday November 27th, 7:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Pittsburgh -1.5
The no. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers go on the road this Friday night to take on a Big East foe in the West Virginia Mountaineers who hold a healthy 7-3 record on the season. The Panthers are anticipating a big match-up in two weeks with undefeated no. 5 Cincinnati that will have Big East Title implications. However, the Panthers can not get caught looking ahead as they have a difficult test this Friday night. West Virginia fought Cincinnati as well as anyone has all year in their last outing falling to the Bearcats just 24-21. The Mountaineers had an extra week off to prepare for Pittsburgh and they will get the chance to capture a big win at home.
This Friday night’s battle will feature two of the top running backs in the conference. West Virginia’s Noel Devine is on track for yet another 1,200 plus yard campaign as he already has posted 1098 yards and 10 touchdowns thus far this season. On the other side of the field, people will get to witness one of the most promising young talents in the conference in freshman running back Dion Lewis. Lewis leads the Big East ahead of Devine with 1,291 yards this season and is one of the most exciting freshmen in college football to watch. However, the real question is that which outstanding running back will outshine the other this Friday night?
One reason I really like Pittsburgh in this game is that there defense has played exceptional all season long. The Panthers defense has held opponents to just 17 points per game through the season and they are extremely talented up front where they will focus on stopping Devine in his track. The defensive front is only giving up 106 yards per game and those guys also lead the nation in getting to the quarterback averaging a little over 4 sacks per contest. If the Panthers can get some pressure on QB Jarrett Brown, then he has been subject to making mistakes this year hence the 8 interceptions on the season. West Virginia will have the home crowd in their favor in what expects to be a close game. However, they can not afford any turnovers or Pittsburgh will win the ball game.
Outside of Dion Lewis, the Panthers also have a quarterback that can lead the troops down the field and put points on the scoreboard. QB Bill Stull is completing 66% with over 2,100 yards this season along with 18 touchdowns and only 4 picks on the season. The Mountaineers defense has been subject to giving up yards in the passing game allowing 220 per contest. Stull could steal the show from the running backs featured if he can get some opportunities to hook up with their go to guy in WR Jonathan Baldwin. Baldwin is averaging an eye opening 21 yards per catch on the season and has racked up 840 total receiving yards. If West Virginia slips up, look for Baldwin to be the rewarded recipient when these two teams collide this Friday night.
Betting Trends –
Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games while also going 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games on the road. The Panthers have also reached the under total in 5 of the last 6 games as well. West Virginia is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and also just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home. The Mountaineers have also seen the under total quite a bit this season as that has been the outcome in 4 of their last 6 games this season.
Pick – Turnovers tell the story. Pittsburgh wins the turnover battle and the game.