The Pittsburgh Panthers (1-2) and the Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0) square off in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Penn State opened as a 9.5-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 145 points. Action begins at 9:30 p.m. ET on Monday, November 20, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN 3.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Free Preview
The Nittany Lions defeated the Columbia Lions in their last outing, 79-65. With 11 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, Mike Watkins put together a solid outing for Penn State. Penn State played a flawless game. They had an absurd offensive rebounding percentage of 35.9 (above their season average of 33.9) and a turnover percentage of 14.8 (better than their season average of 19.1). Columbia was 22.2 and 23.7, respectively, for those same stats.
In the Panthers last matchup, they beat the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 70-62. Pittsburghs Ryan Luther had a good outing, recording 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers had a much better free throw rate (0.457 vs. 0.154) and had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.533 vs. 0.400).
It will be a battle of contrasting styles as the up-tempo Nittany Lions will look to push the more grind-it-out Panthers. Since last season, the Nittany Lions rank 52nd in possessions per game while the Panthers are 270th.
The Nittany Lions have had records of 19-18 straight up (SU) and 18-14 against the spread (ATS) since last season. Since last season, Penn State games have had a tendency to go under the projected point total (56.3 percent).
On the other hand, the Panthers, have records of 17-19 SU and 15-20 ATS since last season. Vegas has had a tendency to place the total high when Pittsburgh has been involved over that same time frame as 60.0 percent of their games have gone under the O/U total.
The Panthers won the sole game against the Nittany Lions last season, 81-73. Pittsburghs effective field goal percentage was its largest strength over Penn State. The Panthers had a rate of 0.508 while the Nittany Lions posted a mark of 0.403.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Penn State, ATS Winner – Pittsburgh, O/U – Under
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Panthers rank 178th in rebounds allowed per game (35.4) while the Nittany Lions rank 274th (38.1).
- Penn State ranks 206th in three pointers attempted per game (20.2) while Pittsburgh ranks 218th in three pointers allowed per game (22.4).
- Penn State ranks 58th in steals per game (7.1) while Pittsburgh ranks 287th (3.8).
- The Nittany Lions average 5.6 blocks per game, which ranks seventh in the NCAA. The Panthers rank 152nd in blocks allowed per game (3.4).
- Penn State ranks 141st in assists allowed per game (13.0) while Pittsburgh ranks 286th (15.2).