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Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, Preview, and Odds
NCAAF: Saturday, November 23, 2019, Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Virginia, 3:30 pm EDT
The Pittsburgh Panthers responded to a narrow home loss to the Miami Hurricanes with a pair of victories over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and North Carolina Tar Heels. Pittsburgh now improved to a 7-3 record and is in the 2nd position in the ACC Coastal.
The Virginia Tech Hokies were in a similar situation as Pittsburgh. They also bounced back from a tight loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a couple of wins over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Virginia Tech improved to a 7-3 record and is in the 3rd place in the ACC Coastal.
These rivals met seven times in the last seven years, and Pittsburgh was better on four occasions, including the most recent duel in November 2018.
The Panthers edged the Tar Heels in overtimePittsburgh dropped a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter against the North Carolina Tar Heels as the visitors fought bravely to force overtime. They managed to do it, but the Panthers’ quarterback Kenny Pickett scored a 3-yard TD run to give the hosts a 34-27 overtime victory. Pickett completed 25 of 41 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown. He also added a pair of rushing touchdowns, while A.J. Davis had 58 yards and a score on 19 carries. Shocky Jacques-Louis led the Panthers in receiving yards as he collected 104 with a score on four catches. Taysir Mack followed him with 83 yards on six receptions.
"It was a personal game," said Pickett. "We made it personal this week. A lot of those guys have never lost to Pitt on that team ever. It was a really good feeling to get that win."
Virginia Tech has a top 30 defense against the run that allows 123.9 yards per game. Considering that Pittsburgh averages 131.7 rushing yards per contest, it is hard to expect the visitors to do damage on the ground. The Panthers’ passing offense is way better, though, and Pickett has a chance to record a 200+ yard display here. The Hokies’ secondary is letting 241.1 yards to the opposing receivers, while Pittsburgh has a top 40 passing offense with 260.1 yards on average.
The Hokies kept Georgia Tech off the scoreboard in a big winVirginia Tech displayed the best performance of the season as they destroyed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 45-0 on the road. The Hokies’ 45-point game is their most efficient display of the year, while they kept the opponent off the scoreboard for the first time since November 2017 and a 10-0 victory over Virginia. The Hokies limited the Yellow Jackets to only 134 yards and eight first downs, forcing a pair of turnovers in the process while making none on the other end. Hendon Hooker completed nine of 13 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, while Quincy Patterson II added 64 passing yards on two completions (two attempts). James Mitchell scored the only receiving TD for the Hokies as he ended the tilt with 90 yards on four catches. Keshawn King was a deep threat, recording 82 yards on just two receptions. Even eight players ran the ball for Virginia Tech. Patterson II had 40 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, while Hooker recorded a couple of rushing TDs despite having only ten yards on seven carries.
"I don't know if y'all remember what they did to us last year, but I'm pretty sure everybody was fuming to get their hands on some Yellow Jackets," DB Caleb Farley said.
Pittsburgh has the 7th best defense against the run that allows 90.9 yards per contest. It’s not a great matchup for the Hokies, who are averaging 178.8 rushing yards, and the hosts could struggle to make an impact on the ground in this one. In case the running doesn’t work, head coach Justin Fuente might turn to Hooker and Patterson II to try to exploit the air instead. Virginia Tech averages 214.4 passing yards per game, while the Panthers are letting 207.1 yards to the opposing receivers.
The top supporting trends for this game are found on Covers.com Pittsburgh:
- 4-0 ATS in their last four road games
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in November
- 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall
- 0-6 ATS in their last six games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game
- 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Duels between these schools are usually tight ones. Apart from the previous encounter which Pittsburgh won by a 30-point margin, four games were decided by six points or fewer. The Hokies are slight favorites at -4 here, and it’s going to be a close game, so it’s quite hard to predict a winner. Pittsburgh defended well in the previous three road games and allowed only 30 total points in the last two visits. They will need to play their best D on Saturday in order to stay close and snatch a win. I am not sure whether the Panthers will actually do it, but I am backing them to cover the spread. This game could be settled with one field goal, while the overtime is also a possibility.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Panthers +4 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Four of the last six H2H duels produced under 38 points, and considering the total for this clash is set at 47, I am going with Under. Pittsburgh will try to win the game with sturdy defense, but I don’t think they will have an efficient display on the other end, given that the Panthers are averaging 22.2 points per contest. Virginia Tech will have much more trouble defensively than it was the case in a blowout win over Georgia Tech. Still, I don’t believe they will let more than 20 points in this one, and that’s why I am backing Under. Pittsburgh failed to score more than 17 points in the previous three visits to Lane Stadium.
Prediction: Under 47 (-110)