The #13 overall Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) host the Pitt Panthers (1-1) in Week 3 for an all-Pennsylvania showdown. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 14th at Beaver Stadium and the game will be televised nationally on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 3 college football odds, Pittsburgh opened as an 17-point road underdog earlier this week. That line hasn’t changed at all after early betting, as the Panthers are currently listed at +17. The total for the game is sitting at 54 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Penn State vs Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh managed to get back to .500 on the season after beating Ohio 20-10 at home last weekend. The Panthers jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and managed to hold on in the second half to secure the victory. QB Kenny Pickett played well. going 26/37 for 321 yards and a touchdown. He had a ton of help from A.J. Davis and Vincent Davis on the ground, as the duo combined for 139 yards and one score on 25 rushing attempts. WR Maurice Ffrench had a big afternoon as well, hauling in ten catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, Pittsburgh racked up just under 500 yards of total offense against the Bobcats.
The Panthers defense was also much better in Week 2 after giving up 30 points to Virginia in the first game of the season. Pitt held Ohio QB Nathan Rourke to only 177 passing yards and no touchdowns while also limiting the Bobcats ground attack to just 35 rushing yards.
Penn State put on another show offensively at home in Week 2, beating Buffalo 45-13 to remain undefeated. It certainly wasn’t the smoothest path to victory, as the Nittany Lions actually trailed 10-7 at halftime before scoring 28 points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. QB Sean Clifford turned in a strong performance, completing 16/22 throwing attempts for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Clifford also led the way on the ground, rushing for a team-high 51 yards on 11 carries. The receiving duo of Jahan Dotson and Pat Freiermuth torched the Bulls secondary, combining for over 200 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Penn State gained almost 400 total yards of offense en route to a five-touchdown night against a Buffalo defense that only surrendered ten points in Week 1.
The Nittany Lions defense was also looked pretty decent in Week 2, holding Buffalo to just one touchdown despite giving up more than 300 total yards of offense including almost 200 on the ground. However, no Bulls rusher with more than 10 touches was able to average more than 3.8 yards per carry.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Penn State -17
Pitt has a well-earned reputation for playing Top-25 opponents extremely tough, but I still think the Nittany Lions should be able to roll at home here in Week 3. Penn State showed just how quickly their offense can put points on the board after a slow first half against Buffalo last Saturday, racking up 38 points in the final two quarters. The offense also had a 79-point performance back in Week 1 against Idaho. While the Panthers defense did have a solid showing against Ohio, they still gave up 30 to Virginia in Week 1 en route to a double-digit loss.
Click on the link for more free college football picks from our experts on staff.
It is also important to note that Penn State is a perfect 5-0 ATS over their last five games at home. They are also an impressive 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall. If the Cavaliers found a way to beat Pittsburgh by 16-points on the road to open the season, I think that the Nittany Lions should be able to cover this double-digit spread at home in this matchup. I’m still not entirely sold on this Panthers offense, as they have now scored 20 or less points in two consecutive games to open up their season. Even if the Pitt defense holds strong for a few quarters, the Nittany Lions offense should score enough down the stretch to grind out a cover at home. Give me Penn State!