College Football Pick
By Jason Green
After losing their season opener North Carolina comes into this Game winning 2 straight where they scored 48 and 56 points respectively. They are the 7-point home favorite facing a Pitt team that won their first 2 Games and lost their last Game in a barnburner.
Don’t look for a low scoring affair in this ACC Coastal Division since neither team ranks in the top 79 in the nation in opponent’s points allowed. While UNC is led by their aerial attack on offense Pitt is led by their ground Game.
In their last Games Pitt lost to Oklahoma State 45-38 and UNC beat James Madison 56-28.
Last season at Pittsburgh the Tar Heels beat the Panthers 26-19 and covered the spread as a 1-point underdog.
After failing to cover in their first Game of the season the Tar Heels have covered in 2 straight while Pitt has failed to cover in all 3 Games this season.
UNC QB Mitch Trubisky passed for a career high 432 yards and he has 5 TD and has not been picked off on the season. He not only has solid and deep WR corps, but also in the backfield he is joined by Elijah Hood (266 yards) and T.J Logan (175 yards) ,who are each averaging over 6 yards per carry and has 4 TD.
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The Panthers have had a solid season far against the run, but defending the pass is a different matter. In the loss to Oklahoma State they gave up over 530 yards in the air and their pass D overall ranks 124th out of 128 teams. The Pitt defense has to be concerned facing a Tar Heels ‘ offense that racked up 635 total yards of offense in their last Game.
QB Nathan Peterman has been decent so far on the season with 503 yards with 5 TD and 2 INT, but in the loss to OSU he only completed 48% of his passes. He does have 3 players that have at least 100 receiving yards, but the key to Pitt on offense in this Conference match up is their rushing offense.
The Panthers rank 21st in the nation in rushing yards per Game led by James Conner (281 yards 3 TD), who has rushed for at least 110 yards in the last 2 Games. With the suspect Pitt defense he will have to run the ball well to keep them off the field. At least he will be facing a Tar Heels’ run defense that only ranks 106th in the nation.
Pitt has failed to cover the spread in their last 5 Games overall.
UNC has only covered the spread in 1 of their last 4 home Games.
Jason’s Pick: The Tar Heels are at home and have a balanced offense and Pitt has really struggled to defend the pass this season. All of those things equal a UNC win and they will also cover the 7-point spread.