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NCAAF Pittsburgh at West Virginia Free Pick

September 12, 2023
pitt vs wvu free picks

It’s the Pittsburgh Panthers visiting Morgantown, taking on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the annual “Backyard Brawl” Saturday night.

Pittsburgh (1-1) comes into this game looking to get back on track after a 27-21 home loss to Cincinnati. Pitt finished the 2022 season with five consecutive victories (including a win at the Sun Bowl), so losing to the Bearcats may have this team making some changes..

West Virginia (1-1) enters off a 56-17 drilling of Duquesne last week. That was sort of a given after getting blown out, 38-15, at Penn St. to begin the season.

This rivalry game (Pitt leads the all-time series, 62-40-3) is taken to be so tight, it’s a pick ‘em (total at 50), according top college football lines

Moneyline has both sides priced at -110. 


Where’s the Panther Offense?

The Pittsburgh Panthers need more offense than their output against Cincinnati. Pittsburgh did score 45 points in a season-opening “prep” against Wofford, averaging just 376½ yards of offense in the first two games.

Pitt hasn’t established the run, with no back in triple-figure rushing through the two games.

Quarterback Phil Jurkovec has thrown four touchdown passes (no interceptions), but less than a 50 percent completion rate to date. He missed on 22-of-32 passes against the ‘Cats.

Defensively, the Panthers were better as the Cincy game progressed, but can’t afford the Mountaineers jumping on them early.


Mountaineers Tough to Gauge

West Virginia’s stats feature some solid numbers on both sides of the ball, but those are inflated a bit after the blowout of Duquesne. The “Brawl” is certainly a more legit test as to where WVU stands.

West Virginia is averaging 225 rush yards per game this season, holding opponents to just 74½ ground yards.

Quarterback Garrett Greene has four touchdown passes with no picks (same as his Pitt counterpart), but a completion percentage at 57.8%. Also, Nicco Marchiol has completed half of his 14 passes to date. 

There’a a solid backfield as well, with Greene, C.J. Donaldson and Jahiem White each over 100 yards in two games   

Provided West Virginia does not allow big plays to Pitt, it will be tough to penetrate.


Take the Homies

There’s no love lost in this rivalry, and Pittsburgh did not play well in the loss to Cincinnati. That is taken into account this week, as is the venue.

The Mountaineers may be the superior team in the trenches, obviously a huge key in this game. Do not expect a rout by either side, but the homestanding West Virginians at pick ‘em is the way to go.

If you’re looking at the bigger picture with these teams, Pitt is 16-1 (+1600) to win the ACC, while WVU is 50-1 (+5000) to capture the Big 12, as per college football conference odds.