Rutgers at Pittsburgh Odds
The Pittsburgh Panthers (4-6) host the 18th-ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-1) Saturday at 12:00 PM ET in Big East Conference action. Oddsmakers have listed Pittsburgh as a two-point favorite and have set the total at 43.5.
Why Pittsburgh Covers
The Panthers clearly have the respect of oddsmakers here as they are favored against a ranked team despite having a losing record. They have taken notice of the fact Pittsburgh has had an extra week to prepare, has won three of its last four at home and the advantage it has on offense.
The Panthers rank 58th in total offense with 411.3 yards per game while the Scarlet Knights rank 98th with 354.8 yards per game. Pitt ranks 72nd in scoring with 27.5 points per game while Rutgers ranks 88th with 24.6 points per game.
Rutgers is one of the top defensive teams in the country, but Pitt is no slouch on defense either. It ranks 31st in scoring defense with 22.7 points allowed per game and 36th in total defense with 358.6 yards per game.
Pitt lost its last game both straight up and against the spread, but it is 16-5 against the number in its last 21 games following a straight up loss and 13-6 against the number in its last 19 games following an against the spread loss.
The Panthers are 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight games overall and 12-4 against the spread in their last 16 games versus a team that has a winning record. They are even 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games versus team with winning marks on the road.
Why Rutgers Covers
The Scarlet Knights will be lacking no motivation as they can lock up at least a share of the Big East title with a win. They are 5-0 straight up and against the spread in conference play and have averaged 22.0 points in these games while holding the opposition to only 8.8.
Defense is the strength of the Scarlet Knights. They rank fourth in the country in scoring defense with 12.4 points allowed per game. They rank 14th in total defense with 312.6 yards allowed per contest.
Rutgers has especially been good against the run. It ranks 12th in the nation with 108.0 rushing yards allowed per game and held Cincinnati to only 90 rushing yards in last week’s 10-3 road win. That performance is significant because the Scarlet Knights are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
Rutgers has been at its best on the road where it is 5-0 this season. It has won these games by an average of 12.6 points. It is 4-0 against the spread in its last four away contests.
The Scarlet Knights have been a phenomenal investment this season. Since dropping their first two against the spread, they have gone 7-1 against the number in their last eight.
It is also worth noting that Rutgers has had the upper hand in the series lately. It has won five of the last seven meetings, including a 34-10 victory in last season’s matchup.
The Scarlet Knights are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games at Pittsburgh.