Virginia Tech Pitt Odds
The (3-1) Pittsburgh Panthers will try to pick up their third ACC win of the season when they are on the road against the (5-1) Virginia Tech Hokies this weekend. Pitt opened the season with an embarrassing loss at home against Florida State, but they have since peeled off three consecutive wins, including a solid defensive performance against Virginia last week. Things will be a little more difficult this week against the Hokies who have also played a tough schedule and come into this game ranked No. 24 in the nation. The Hokies only loss this season was in their season opener against the No. 1 team in the nation, Alabama. They have five consecutive wins, including dominating performances over Georgia Tech and North Carolina the past two weeks.
Kick-off takes place this Saturday at 12:00 PM ET with television coverage being provided by ESPNU. Oddsmakers have the Hokies winning their sixth straight game, listing them as 9-point home favorites over the Panthers.
Why Virginia Tech Covers
The Hokies are scoring 23.8 points per game this season, but their scoring average increases by almost 10 points per game to 33.7 points when they are playing at home. They have gained 162 rushing yards per game at home, and have passed for 233 yards in those games. They will face a soft Pittsburgh defense that has allowed opponents an average of 4.2 yards per carry this season, and a 62.9% completion percentage by opposing quarterbacks. The offense has moved the ball with a lot of efficiency, averaging just 1.16 turnovers per game through the first six week of their season. They should dominate the turnover margin given the fact that the Panthers have nine turnovers in just four games played this year.
When the Panthers offense is struggling they are a good team to fade. They have a 5-13 ATS record in their last 18 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
Sticking with the turnover margin theme, the Hokies have forced three turnovers in five of their six games this season. If they continue to dominate the turnover margin this week, the game could get out of hand early for Pitt fans. The Hokies defense has allowed a mere 16 points per game this season, but when playing at home that number improves to 13.7 points. The run defense is one of the best in the conference, allowing a mere 2.7 yards per carry for 102 yards per game. The secondary has also played extremely well. They are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 48.5% of their pass attempts for 161 yards per game.
Why Pitt Covers
There has been no shortage of scoring for the Panthers this season. They come into this game against the Hokies averaging 33.5 points per game. They have sliced up secondaries to the tune of 265 passing yards per game, an impressive feat given the schedule they have played thus far. On the ground Pittsburgh has average 140 rushing yards, gaining a full four yards per carry. They have always been a team that steps up there level of play against good opponents. They are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games against a team with a winning record.
The Hokies have not been consistent on defense, and that has resulted in a 3-13 ATS record in their last 16 games after allowing less than 20 in their previous game.
The Panthers defense is much better than they look statistically. If not for the Florida State game in the season opener, and a shootout with Duke, they would be allowing a lot less than 31.5 points per game this season. The Hokies offense does not play with the same style and scheme as either of those teams so it is unlikely they will put up as many points as the Seminoles and Blue Devils did. The Panthers are coming off a confidence boosting performance for the defense last week. They held the Cavaliers to just 188 yards of total offense, including a mere 65 rushing yards on 33 carries. The secondary has performed well, holding opponents to a mere 219 passing yards per game. They allow a somewhat high completion percentage, but they are a great tackling team that avoids allowing a lot of yards after the catch.
The play in this game is definitely on Virginia Tech. The Panthers were favored in all three of their games won this year, and they did not look impressive against any of their conference opponents. They tried to give the game away against Duke, and managed to score just 14 points last week against Virginia. The Hokies are the better team, playing on their home field and should be able to win this game by two touchdowns or more.