The Pittsburgh Panthers hope to cling to fading bowl hopes when they visit the Virginia Tech Hokies. Kickoff is at 12:20 on Saturday, November 18 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. Fans can watch the game on ACC Network Extra.
The Hokies enter the game as 15.5-point favorites at home. The over/under is set at 49.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 12 betting odds and links to game previews.
Pittsburgh vs Virginia Tech Vegas Game Odds & Betting Predictions
The Hokies are coming off back-to-back losses that have spoiled what was once a promising season. Last week’s loss to Georgia Tech was particularly disappointing, as the Yellow Jackets surprised Virginia Tech by scoring twice through the air. At 7-3, Virginia Tech doesn’t have to worry about getting to a bowl game. But they’d certainly like to get the bad taste out of their mouth after losing two straight.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has to win their final two games or the Panthers will fail to play in a bowl game for the first time since 2007. Pitt had some late-season momentum until a dreadful loss to North Carolina, a team that was previously winless in ACC play. Beating both Virginia Tech and Miami is now the only way Pat Narduzzi’s 4-6 team can salvage the season.
Free College Football Betting Selection: Pittsburgh +15.5
My early lean in this game is toward Pittsburgh. I don’t see the Panthers winning this game, but I also don’t see this being a one-sided affair in which Virginia Tech wins going away. I see an ugly game that’s played in the trenches and close in the 4th quarter. I’ll stick with the Panthers and the points.
To be fair, Pittsburgh’s chances of winning their last two games and reaching a bowl game are bleak. But Narduzzi is not going to allow his team to go down without a fight. I’ll be expecting to see a feisty Pitt team head into Blacksburg. I’m also a little worried about the Hokies being down on themselves after two straight losses. If the Hokies don’t play with a lot of energy or passion, it could help the Panthers keep things close.
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On paper, Virginia Tech still has one of the best defenses in the country, giving up less than 15 points per game. But I’ve been impressed with how Pitt has run the ball recently. Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison are both home run threats every time they touch the ball. Even against a stout Virginia Tech defense, I can see the Panthers being able to create a few explosive plays.
On the other side of the ball, I wonder if freshman quarterback Josh Jackson is starting to get tired late in the season. He started to struggle toward the end of October and then get beat up a little against Miami a couple weeks ago. Last week against Georgia Tech, he again seemed to be a little off. The Pitt defense isn’t overly impressive. But I can see Narduzzi coming up with a way to bother Virginia Tech’s young quarterback.
If I had to guess, I’d say this game will be a low-scoring slugfest reminiscent of the games these two schools used to play in the Big East. I don’t see either quarterback having a ton of success, and so the score should remain close throughout. I’d be surprised if Pitt wins, but the Panthers can certainly keep the final score within two touchdowns and beat the spread.
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