College Basketball Betting Picks: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Michigan Wolverines

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. No. 4 Michigan Wolverines
Wednesday, 11/21/12, 9:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan -2.5
Opening Total:  123.5
Current Total:  124
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Pittsburgh Panthers have enjoyed great success at Madison Square Garden over the years

Pittsburgh travels to New York City and Madison Square Garden in hopes of advancing to the NIT Season Tip-Off Championship on Friday, as it will play inside the historic venue for the 43rd time since the 2000-01 season.  The Panthers have compiled a 28-14 record inside the venue over that time, which includes winning a pair of Big East Championship titles.  It’s also important to note that the program is 13-5 versus top-five opponents in its last 18 opportunities.  Pittsburgh is 7-4 ATS as an underdog since 2010, which is important to handicap when making your college football picks against the spread on Wednesday.

The Panthers are led offensively by junior forward Talib Zanna, who is averaging 14.0 points per game on 75 percent shooting.  Pittsburgh enters its fifth game with a 4-0 record for the 14th time in the last 15 years, as it has outscored its first four opponents by an average margin of 25.5 points, which has been made possible by shooting 52.6 percent from the floor.  The bench has also been spectacular, outscoring opponents in that particular category by a 136-42 margin.

Michigan has won of the best backcourts in all of college basketball, with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., as they are averaging 18.3 and 17.3 points per game respectively.  The Wolverines came away with a dominating 77-47 win over the Cleveland State Vikings last Tuesday, as they finished with a 45-27 edge on the glass.  The program has compiled a 7-5 all-time record in this event, with all seven victories coming at home.  Michigan is 9-5 ATS in tournament action over the last two-plus seasons.

The Wolverines are listed as slight favorites on the college basketball odds page due to their 15-11 all-time record when playing inside this building, while John Beilein coached teams are 8-8 in that situation overall.  Michigan has won its first three games by an average of 35.0 points per game, as it has managed to shoot 56.1 percent from the floor.

Sports bettors will likely back the Panthers due to their 9-4 ATS mark versus Big Ten Conference foes, while the Wolverines are 7-11 ATS versus Big East opponents.

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