Pitt Panthers (2-2) vs Central Florida Knights (3-0)Date : 09/29/2018
Time : 3:30 pm EST
Location : Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Pitt Panthers vs Central Florida Knights
The Pitt Panthers will travel to Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, Florida, to battle the 14th ranked Central Florida Knights on Saturday for a 3:30 pm EST matchup. In their last outing, the Knights would get the 56-36 home win over the Florida Atlantic Owls last Saturday while the Panthers would fall on the road to the North Carolina Tar Heels in a high scoring affair to where the final score was 38-35 to where the Panthers would not cover the spread as three point favorites while the total of 48.5 points set for the game was indeed surpassed. Pittsburgh would pick up the 52-7 road win on October 13, 2016 the last time these two teams met as they would pound the Knights on the ground for a total of 261 yards on their way to the victory. They would cover the spread as 10-point favorites while the over was the play as the total was set at 48.5 points for the game.
Pitt Panthers's Latest Performance :
In a back and forth game versus the Tar Heels, the Panthers would be outscored 17-7 in the second half to suffer the road loss last Saturday as they would collect 228 rushing yards along with 174 yards in the air thanks to Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison who combined for 18 rushes for 158 yards while Kenny Pickett threw for 174 yards on two touchdowns in the loss. Maurice Ffrench finished with 65 yards on seven catches along with a TD for the panthers. Pitt’s 98th ranked rushing defense performed as expected in giving up 173 yards on the ground, however, their 56th ranked pass defense would be exploited for 313 yards in the air. Of course, the Knights will be looking to take advantage of this area on Saturday as they are ranked 7th and 21st respectively in putting up 284 yards on the ground along with 304 yards in the passing game.
Central Florida Knights's Latest Performance :
After a tight game at the half, the Central Florida Knights would outscore the Owls of Florida Atlantic 35-19 in their last outing to come away with the win while also staying undefeated on the season. Touchdown runs by Taj McGowan, Kerrith Whyte Jr., and McKenzie Milton along with a touchdown pass from Milton to White late in the third period would all but seal the victory for the home team last Saturday in the win. Shawn Burgess Becker would also return an interception 40 yards for a score in the matchup as the defense held the Owls to 127 yards passing, however, would be hammered on the ground in allowing 320-yard rushing to the Owls for the game. The Knights, however, would collect three interceptions on the day. Central Florida would also have a decent night on the ground in putting up 239 yards led by Milton with 81 yards. Milton also threw for 306 yards with three touchdown passes in the win while Gabriel Davis led the receiving corps with 91 yards on five catches along with a touchdown pass.
How Pitt Panthers & Central Florida Knights Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Central Florida is 2-1 ATS while the O/U is 2-1
Pittsburgh is 1-3 ATS while the O/U is 2-2
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
This will be a huge matchup for the Knights as they should really perform well versus a Panther team that has struggled to stop opponents both in the passing and running game. The question is will Milton perform as expected while minimizing mistakes throughout the game. Pitt, on the other hand, will look to utilize its running game on a UCF run defense that has faltered lately in allowing 239 rushing yards to opponents (119th) while their pass defense is as solid as ever as they are ranked 15th in the country in allowing 158 yards in the air. Expect this to be a game won in the trenches. With that being said, the way the Knights have gotten pushed around in this area, particularly, on defense, expect Pitt to be optimistic going into this matchup that they can win.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Pitt Panthers +13.5
My reason for the pick :
Pitt will keep this game close as they have been able to grind out yards on the ground in which to maintain possession while keeping opposing offenses off the field. This strategy will certainly help the in this game in that the Knights are suddenly unable to stop the rush lately. of course, the home team will look to take advantage of a shaky secondary for the Panthers, however Milton has been very inconsistent and is prone to giving the ball away. With that being the case, I will back the road team with the plus points in this contest.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under 66
My reason for the prediction :
With this game likely being decided in the trenches along with the individual rushing attacks for each team, I will choose the under in this matchup as it will certainly be a competitive, tough contest where the Knights and Panthers will both be looking to shore up defensive vulnerabilities after lackluster performances the prior week. And while the Knights have the much better passing game, I happen to believe that the rushing attack will be enough for the Knights to remain competitive in this matchup versus Pitt. In all, the total will not go over the 66 points set for this contest.
Betting trends for Pitt Panthers:
- Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss
- Under is 4-0 in Panthers last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Under is 5-0 in Panthers last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Betting trends for Central Florida Knights:
- Over is 6-1 in Knights last 7 home games
- Knights are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September
- Under is 21-5-1 in Knights last 27 games in September