Pitt -4 2.2%
We backed Pitt in a teaser last week and I still feel like it was the right side getting 9 points of line movement. This week we will back them on the side, as we are getting 2.5 points of line value from the 6.5 at open. It's also very weird to see 67% of the action on Ohio in money, but the line has gone the other way. Pitt lost the game 30-14, but all 3 of Virginia's TD's came with great field position. They started all three of those drives on their own 29 yard line or better. Pitt has been a top 25 unit on special teams, and they are facing an opponent with far less talent. Now many will point to this being a sandwich game before Penn STate, but I"m not buying into that all. Pitt needs a win here with a road game at Penn State, and UCF the following week. I think we are getting great value here because of last week's results.
Ohio just simply does not have as much talent. In 2017 their recruits ranked 109th out of the 130 school while PItt ranked 33rd. These are the players that are playing today. Ohio has been a darling of the Group of 5, but during the regular season, they are just 2-6 vs. the Power 5 since 2013. The two wins were both against Kansas, arguably the worst of the Power 5. The 6 losses were by an average of 18 points per game.
I think we see a balanced attack from PItt here. They averaged 7.3 ypc on the ground at home last year, and even though they have 4 new starters on the offensive line, they brought in OC Mark Whipple, who led Umass of all teams to two top 50 yards per play seasons. However, I feel Pitt gets back to running more. I don't see them running the ball only 15x, and that should be a good thin as Ohio's run defense is not nearly as good on the road, and that will take the pressure off the offensive line to pass block, and set Whipple up for some bigger plays later in the game. I also like the fact that Pitt held Virginia to just 310 yards and 129 on the ground, and Virginia has a mobile QB as does Ohio.
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