College Football Betting: Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers

#13 Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers
Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Saturday, September 15, 2012, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Virginia Tech -10 1/2
Current Line: Virginia Tech -10
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 44
Opening Money Line: Virginia Tech -440 / Pitt +350
Current Money Line: Virginia Tech -360 / Pitt +300

Virginia Tech is a 10 point favorite on the road at Pittsburgh. The 0-2 Panthers are desperate for a win against the #13 Hokies.

Former and future conference rivals Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh meet for the first time since 2003 Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The two schools played every year from 1993 to 2003 when Virginia Tech was in the Big East before joining the ACC. Pitt joins the ACC Coastal Division next year, so the two schools will again play each other every year. The Hokies lead the series 7-4 against the Panthers, but Pitt has won the last 3 meetings.

Virginia Tech is coached by Frank Beamer. The Hokies are 2-0 this season with wins over Georgia Tech 20-17 in overtime and Austin Peay 42-7, both at home. This is the first road game for the #13 Hokies. Virginia Tech has won 13 straight true road games (not counting neutral sites) dating back to 2009, the longest streak in the country. The Hokies are averaging 231 passing yards and 141.5 rushing yards per game, and outscoring opponents 31-12 so far through 2 games. The Hokies are 0-2 ATS and the total is 0-1 this season.

Virginia Tech was a 52.5 point favorite last week against Austin Peay in Blacksburg. The Hokies scored the first 28 points of the game before the Governors got on the board. Virginia Tech added two more touchdowns to win easily 42-7, but the Hokies didn’t come close to covering the massive number.

Virginia Tech held Austin Peay to 221 total yards including 62 passing yards, and 13 first downs. The Hokies forced 2 turnovers and had one of their own. The Hokies had 419 total yards including 187 rushing yards against Austin Peay.

Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas has completed 59% of his passes for 442 yards with 4 passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown this season. He has yet to throw an interception. Running back Michael Holmes has 22 carries for 94 yards with two touchdowns. J.C. Coleman has 10 carries for 54 yards. Tony Gregory had a rushing touchdown against Austin Peay, and also blocked a punt. Corey Fuller ( 7 catches, 126 yards, 1 touchdown), Marcus Davis (8 catches, 116 yards) and Dyrell Roberts 97 catches, 55 yards) are the top receivers. Demitri Knowles, Randall Dunn, and Eric Martin have all caught touchdown passes this season.

The Paul Chryst era at Pittsburgh has gotten off to a rocky start to say the least. The 0-2 Panthers have losses at home to Youngstown St 31-17 and on the road at Cincinnati 34-10. Pitt is trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2005. The panthers are passing for 258.5 yards a game and rushing for 133.5 yards per game. Pitt is being outscored 32.5-13.5 this season. The Panthers are 0-2 ATS and the total is 0-1 this season.

Cincinnati took a 17-0 halftime lead at home last Thursday against Pittsburgh. The Panthers scored a field goal early in the second half, but Cincinnati then scored 17 unanswered points to take a 34-3 lead. The Panthers scored a garbage touchdown with 34 seconds left to make the final 34-10. The Bearcats easily covered the 4.5 point spread and the game went under the 51 point total.

Pitt had 415 total yards against Cincinnati including 278 passing yards. Cincinnati had 464 total yards including 259 rushing Yards. Pitt had two turnovers and both teams combined for 15 penalties for 114 yards.

Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri has started 28 straight games for the Panthers. He has completed 64.2% of his passes so far for 517 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. He hasn’t been terrible this season, but some Panther fans are getting restless, and want to see what sophomore Trey Anderson can do with the offense. Running back Ray Graham has 33 carries, for 174 yards, along with 4 catches for 51 yards. He doesn’t have a touchdown yet. Isaac Bennett has 15 carries for 66 yards and  a touchdown, along with 4 catches for 42 yards. Mike Shanahan has 11 catches for 113 yards. Devin Street has 9 catches for 105 yards. Joshua Brinson and Drew Carswell have each caught touchdown passes for the Panthers.

The Hokies are 4-1 ATS in road games against teams with losing home records, and against Big East teams, 29-14 in road games, 3-10 after a straight up win, 1-4 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 2-10 on grass, 1-8 after allowing 20 points or less, 0-5 against teams with losing records, and in September, 0-5-1 in non-conference games, 0-3-1 overall, 0-7 after allowing 275 total yards or less, and 0-4 after allowing 170 passing yards or less.

The Panthers are 14-3 ATS after a straight up loss, 10-3 against teams with winning records,  5-2 on grass, 2-8-1 in September, and 1-5 in non-conference games.

Pitt is desperate for a win, but it won’t be easy against a top 15 team like Virginia Tech. However, the Hokies have struggled at times in their wins. Against Austin Peay, Virginia Tech scored only 7 points in the first 25 minutes of the game. I think the Hokies win, but Pitt keeps it close in a low scoring affair.

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