Two schools that prefer running the football, Head Coach Pat Narduzzi and the Pittsburgh Panthers (-3) are set to play host to their ACC counterpart No. 24 Virginia Tech Hokies at Heinz Field. This critical daytime game will start at 3:30 p.m. ET and fans can catch it live by tuning in to ESPNU.
Betting Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers
In this Saturday Atlantic Coast game, Pittsburgh has been tabbed as the favorite and is currently giving up 3 points. The Hokies are also receiving +120 moneyline odds while the Panthers are -140. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) at 52 points. There could be some decent in-game betting possibilities in this contest.
This game’s opening line was -4. The total hasn’t changed after being initially posted at 52.
Both of these teams have been profitable this season as the Hokies have gained 2.1 units and the Panthers are up 2.8 units.
The Hokies have gone 4-4 straight up (SU), including 3-2 SU against conference opponents. The Panthers are 5-4 SU overall and 4-1 SU in conference play.
Virginia Tech enters this one on a two-game winning streak while Pittsburgh has dropped each of its last two. The Hokies are most-recently on the rebound after a 31-21 loss to Boston College last week. Ryan Willis completed 25 passes for 281 yards, three scores and one interception. Steven Peoples (39 rushing yards on 12 attempts) led the ground attack in the loss. Hezekiah Grimsley (six receptions, 53 yards) and Eric Kumah (six catches, 35 yards, one TD) shared the receiving duties.
The Pittsburgh Panthers just put together a 23-13 win over Virginia. The defensive unit did its duty in the victory, restricting the Cavaliers to just 205 passing yards and 44 rushing yards. Terrell Jana was a bright spot in the loss, recording 71 yards on three catches for Virginia. For Pittsburgh, Kenny Pickett completed seven-of-14 passes for 61 yards. Darrin Hall (229 yards on 19 rush attempts, three TDs) and the signal-caller Pickett (four yards on 10 carries) spearheaded the ground attack in the win as Hall (one receptions, 4 yards) and Aaron Mathews (one catch, 31 yards) led the pass-catching attack.
Virginia Tech’s run the ball on 54.1 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Pittsburgh has a rush percentage of 63.6 percent. The Hokies have run for 166.9 yards/game (including 116.0 per game against Atlantic Coast opponents) and have 13 touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Panthers are averaging 230.8 rushing yards per game (273.8 in conference) and have 20 total rush TDs.
The Hokies offense has averaged 264.3 yards in the air overall (248.4 per game versus conference opposition) and has 18 passing TDs so far. The Panthers have produced 136.9 pass yards per contest (144 against ACC foes) and have eight total pass scores.
Virginia Tech has let opponents rush for an average of 177.8 yards and pass for 243.9 yards per game. The Pittsburgh defense has allowed 245.4 yards per game to opposing passers and 169.8 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Hokies have given up an ANY/A of 6.70 to opposing QBs, while the Panthers are allowing an ANY/A of 7.02.
Offensively, Willis has put up 1,338 passing yards this season, and has completed 58 percent of his 182 attempts with 11 scores through the air and four interceptions. Willis has a 6.96 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 8.12 over the last two outings.
We expect the Virginia Tech offense to mix it up in this one. Steven Peoples, Damon Hazelton and Dalton Keene have combined for 359 total yards and two touchdowns over the last couple of outings.
In the home locker room, Kenny Pickett has completed 113-of-184 passes for 1,067 yards, six TDs and five INTs. Pickett’s ANY/A stands at a mediocre 4.07 for the season and 6.24 over his past two games.
We’re thinking the Panthers will control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. Maurice Ffrench (219 receiving yards, two TDs this season) has stepped up lately, but Darrin Hall (605 rush yards, seven rush TDs) and Qadree Ollison (670 rush yards, six rush TDs) have brought significant production to the Pittsburgh offense.
When these two schools faced one another last year, Virginia Tech won by a pair of field goals 20-14.
Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers Bedding Prediction
SU Winner: Virginia Tech, ATS Winner: Virginia Tech, O/U: Under
Team Betting Trends
- The O/U for Virginia Tech’s previous game going into it was 57. The under cashed in the team’s 31-21 defeat to Boston College.
- As a team, Virginia Tech has produced 3.8 yards per carry over its last three games and 3.8 over its last two.
- Pittsburgh has averaged 6.9 yards per carry over its last three contests and 7.9 over its last two.
- The Pittsburgh offense has lost six fumbles this season while Virginia Tech has let four get away.
- Over its last three matchups, Virginia Tech is 0-3 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- Virginia Tech has lost four of its last five games SU, with a three-point win over North Carolina on October 13th representing the only victory over that span.
- The O/U for Pittsburgh’s last match was set at 45. The under cashed in the 23-13 victory over Virginia.
- Over its last three matches, Pittsburgh is 3-0 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Hokies offense has registered five pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Panthers have put up six such plays.
- The Virginia Tech defense has allowed seven pass plays of 40 yards or more, while Pittsburgh has given up 10 such plays.
- The Virginia Tech offense has created 12 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Pittsburgh has created 20 such runs.
- The Hokies defense has allowed 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Panthers have given up 21 such runs.
- The Pittsburgh D has tallied 21 sacks on the year while Virginia Tech has 19.