College Basketball Betting: Panthers vs. Mountaineers

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:

A Big East battle kicks off a great ESPN doubleheader tonight when the Pittsburgh Panthers host the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Pittsburgh (21-2, 11-6 ATS) easily handled West Virginia 79-67 as a ‘pickem' in part one of this year's Backyard Brawl and they are solid eight-point favorites at Sportsbook.com to finish the Mountaineers off again at home.

Pittsburgh's last game was their ability to work the offense inside-out, with Sam Young and DeJuan Blair scoring inside, and the team making enough outside shots to keep West Virginia off balance. The Panthers big men stayed at home in the paint, instead of wandering outside, and it paid off.

Blair has been a beast of late, scoring 24.3 points and ripping down 14.7 rebounds in their last three contests. This is Panthers basketball and it's this style of play that has them playing so well.

Note that the Panthers have an 8-1 ATS record in home games after two straight games giving up nine or less offensive rebounds.

With the arrival of February, one thing is apparent; West Virginia (16-7, 9-11 ATS) is part of a group of Big East teams that is good, but not elite. They can pull upsets when they outwork opponents, however when the game is tight or they trail, the ‘Teers don't have answers.

"As of right now we are ninth in our league and that's not good enough," Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins told the school's official athletic Web site. "We have got to win some games here and make a move here in the second half of the conference schedule."

This West Virginia club also isn't built to play in high scoring affairs as they have a 2-8 ATS mark versus offensive teams scoring 77 or more points a game this season. 

"We're just not scoring the ball," said guard Alex Ruoff, trying to explain where the deficiencies are. "We don't have that guy to take over the game the way Joe [Alexander] did last year."

The Mountaineers have to take the momentum of killing Providence, 86-59 on Saturday, and use it to their advantage. They have an 11-2 ATS record off a home blowout win by 20 points or more over the last three seasons.  

Nevertheless, West Virginia is 1-7 straight-up and 3-4-1 ATS at Pittsburgh since 1997.

StatFox Power Line - Pittsburgh by 9  Bet it at Sportsbook.com

Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter


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