Bet of the Day – Miami Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Panthers, Sept. 23, 2010

Miami Hurricanes (-4) at Pittsburgh Panthers (+4), Over/Under 50.5

Yesterday’s bet of the day, Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies, was a winner.  5 winners in a row.  Let’s keep it going.  Today’s bet of the day is on the Miami at Pittsburgh game.  Both teams are 1-1 and need a big win tonight.  Expect both teams to bring their best tonight.

The Hurricanes got roughed up in Columbus two weeks ago.  QB Jacory Harris threw 4 INTs and the team had 8 penalties in that game.  The Hurricanes are inconsistent.  They have had an extra week to prepare for tonight’s game; maybe they cleaned up their game a bit.  Miami has proven they can move the ball averaging 5.9 yards per play (YPP) and 11.0 yards per point (YPPT).  On defense they allowed 4.1 YPP and 14.6 YPPT.  Miami has 4 solid receivers and a trio of running backs to support Harris.  The Hurricanes also have the better offensive and defensive lines; they will put pressure Pitt QB Tino Sunseri on defense and give Jacory Harris time to find his receivers on offense.  Expect Pitt to slow down Miami’s run game but they are vulnerable to the pass.  But can Miami limit their turnovers and sloppy play?

Pitt opened the year with a tough trip to Utah.  That is a tougher trip than many realize.  They lost the game and dropped out of the top 25.  Like Miami, they are coming off an extra week of rest and flying under the radar a bit tonight.  Sophomore QB Tino Sunseri has been good so far in 2010 averaging 7.4 yards per attempt for 3 TDs and 2 INTs with a 136.22.  Pitt’s star running back, Dion Lewis, hasn’t been spectacular averaging 2.9 yards per carry with 2 TDs.  Can Lewis have a break out game tonight?  The Panthers are averaging 5.5 YPP and 11.5 YPPT while allowing 6.8 YPP and 11.7 YPPT.  They are efficient on offense, but Pitt gives up too many yards and points with their pass defense.  Can they improve tonight versus a hungry Miami team?

The Sagarin Ratings are Pittsburgh 78.79 and Miami 78.57.  With a 3.01 home advantage the fair betting line would be Pittsburgh Panthers -3.23.  According to Pregame.com, 78% of bets are on Miami tonight but line has barely moved.  Are the sharps on the Panthers.

My football model predicts Miami 23.68 over Pitt 21.84 for 45.52 total points.  On paper, both teams are similar in offensive production.  Pitt’s pass defense is the concern.  If Jacory Harris is given time, he can take advantage of Pitt’s secondary.  A major variance contributor is Pitt’s offense.  Coach Wannstedt’s offense has to improve to win tonight.

I am taking Pitt plus the points.  Here is why.  Pitt is under rated after the opening loss at Utah.  Pitt is a home underdog on a Thursday prime time game.  Miami will move the ball, but they also will turn the ball over (Pitt has forced 4 turnovers in 2 games).  With two weeks to prepare, Pitt’s offense will be more effective.  Last, the betting value is with Pitt.  Bet on the Pittsburgh Panthers +4.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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