Pittsburgh Panthers at Connecticut Huskies
Thursday, 11/11/10, 7:30 PM EDT, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Pittsburgh -6.5
Current Betting Line: Pittsburgh -5.5
Opening Total: 47
Current Total: 46.5
Current Moneyline: Pittsburgh -230 / Connecticut +190
Pitt looks to tighten its grip on first place in the Big East when traveling to East Hartford, Connecticut to take on the Huskies. The Panthers are the lone undefeated team in conference play and looking to compile a 4-0 Big East start for the second straight year. During its current three-game winning streak, the team has outscored its opponents by an impressive 106 to 38 margin. The team will try and overcome a 3-8 mark in games coming off an open week or with 11 or more days to prepare under head coach Dave Wannstedt. Pitt’s nationally rated defense will face a major challenge in trying to stop Huskies running back Jordan Todman. The unit is yielding just 93.75 yards per game on the ground to rank first in the league and eighth nationally. The team is 5-2 ATS as a road favorite and the college football lines page is worth a look on this nationally-televised game.
The Panthers offense has been firing on all cylinders of late and quarterback Tino Sunseri has spread the ball all over the field. In the past two games, he has completed more passes to tight ends and running backs (18) then to receivers (16). Many are hoping that running back Dion Lewis is primed for a major game due to his 158 yards against the Huskies last year. He seems to be getting into stride after gaining 1,777 yards in 2009-10. Defensively, the unit is ecstatic to welcome back senior defensive end Greg Romeus, who is back practicing after back surgery and may be able to play in this game. He was last year’s Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Connecticut returned home after back-to-back road games to pick up a hard-fought 16-13 home win over West Virginia on October 29. The Huskies enter with plenty of momentum after knocking off the Mountaineers for the first time in school history and certainly benefited from a bye week to rest and get healthy. Todman will be relied heavily in this primetime contest, ranking as the fourth-best runner in the nation at 136.29 yards per game and leading the conference in that category. He is now fifth in career rushing in school history with 2,438 yards and fourth with 26 touchdowns. The West Virginia game was his 11th 100-yard game of his career and led him to win Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors. The team is 5-2 ATS after a bye week.
The Huskies will be meeting the Panthers for the seventh time and the series is tied at three games apiece. Connecticut holds a 2-1 advantage in games played at Rentschler Field in a series that dates back to 2004. The last meeting at tonight’s venue occurred in 2008, as UConn fell by a 34-10 score. The game was tied 3-3 at halftime, but the Huskies allowed three touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter. UConn owns an all-time mark of 18-26 in Big East Conference games.
Bettors will find that the Panthers are 4-0 ATS in conference games, while the Huskies are 25-9 ATS in their last 34 home games.
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