Pitt Panthers vs. UConn Huskies Betting Odds and Preview

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Nov/11/2010
uconn

Pittsburgh goes for its fourth straight win when it travels to East Hartford, CT on Thursday night. The Panthers are unbeaten in Big East play and have won their five games this year by an average of 23.4 PPG. UConn forced four turnovers in a 16-13 upset win over West Virginia last Friday. The Huskies are a perfect 4-0 at home (SU and ATS) this year thanks to 15 takeaways and only six giveaways. That isn’t deterring the football betting crowd at Sportsbook.com from betting the visitors as 77 percent of the point spread bettors are on Pitt.

Sportsbook.com Pitt vs. UConn Betting Odds: Pittsburgh -6, Total: 47.5

The Huskies still have revenge on their minds from last year’s meeting when they blew a 21-6 lead late in the third quarter and lost 24-21 on a last-second chip-shot field goal. Pittsburgh out-gained UConn 489 to 303 in that game, with RB Dion Lewis (158 rushing yards) and WR Jonathan Baldwin (8 rec., 104 yds, 1 TD) leading the way. But this season has been a different story for these two stars. Lewis was third in the nation with 138 rushing YPG last year, but that number has plummeted to 68 rushing YPG in 2010 with the emergence of Ray Graham (98 rushing YPG). Baldwin ranked 22nd in the nation in receiving yards in 2009 (86 receiving YPG), but that average has dipped to 68 receiving YPG this year. Some of the production drop has to do with sophomore Tino Sunseri starting in his first year at quarterback, but Sunseri has seven touchdowns and just one interception during the three-game win streak.

 

The key to this game will be whether Pitt’s eighth-ranked run defense (94 rushing YPG) can contain UConn stud RB Jordan Todman who ranks fourth in the nation with 136 rushing YPG. Last season Todman was shut down by the Panthers, gaining just 43 yards on 12 carries and catching three passes for minus-2 yards. If Todman can’t find room to run, it could be a long day for shaky senior QB Zach Frazer. Not only are Frazer’s career stats below average (54% completion rate, 14 TD, 16 INT), but he’s facing a Pittsburgh defense ranked sixth in the nation in sacks. The Panthers have also forced eight turnovers during their three-game win streak. Speaking of turnovers, UConn’s turnover-happy win over WVU marked the third time this season the Huskies have forced four turnovers in a game.

The last four times these Big East rivals squared off, the underdog covered the point spread three times and was 3-1 outright. Here are two more college football betting trends that indicate that the Huskies cover the point spread tonight:

Play On - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (CONNECTICUT) - an average offensive team (21-28 PPG) against a good offensive team (28-34 PPG) after 7+ games, after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game.

(42-13 since 1992.) (76.4%, +27.7 units. Rating = 3*).

Play Against - A road team (PITTSBURGH) - after 3 or more consecutive wins against the spread, in weeks 10 through 13. (69-31 over the last 5 seasons.) (69%, +34.9 units.

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