Bet FIU Plus the Points vs. Pittsburgh College Football

Jeff Grant

Thursday, September 11, 2014 2:58 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 2:58 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Panthers have failed to cover the number when closing out two-game road trips in the past, which provides the FIU Golden Panthers value Saturday afternoon.

Pounding the Rock
Pittsburgh hasn’t started a season 3-0 since 2009, as it comes off back-to-back victories against Boston College and Delaware—winning the statistical battle by a combined 582 yards in those affairs.

The Panthers are averaging 356 rushing yards per game to rank first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and fourth nationally, which is important to consider when making your Week 3 college football picks, with James Conner being the main player to watch in the backfield.

Conner has totaled 76 carries for 596 yards and six touchdowns in his past three games played dating back to the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl win over Bowling Green.

 

Stepping Up In Class
Florida International hasn’t committed a turnover in splitting games against Wagner and Bethune Cookman, but this is a major step up in class, considering the program is 1-11 SU all-time when taking on current ACC teams.

The Golden Panthers possess 30 players that have combined for 229 career starts, which is far different than the 2013 squad that had just four returning starters from the 2012 campaign.

College football handicappers will find that the program is 0-3 SU and 2-1 ATS as underdogs of 21.5 to 31 points over the last two-plus seasons.

 

Life On the Road
The Panthers are heavily backed as road favorites when you look over the college football odds page, but it’s important to point out that the team is 0-2 SUATS when playing the second of back-to-back road games under third-year head coach Paul Chryst.

Pittsburgh may lack the proper focus to cover this type of number without the services of starting center Artie Rowell, who was just diagnosed with a season-ending knee injury, while its roster of 81 underclassmen is the most of any FBS squad.

 

Orchestrating Another Turnaround?
It’s impossible to gauge if FIU has improved in the early going this season due to its far-from-stellar early schedule, but second-year head coach Ron Turner has demonstrated the ability to orchestrate a turnaround in the past.

Turner was the main man on the sidelines at Illinois from 1997-04, with many college experts remembering that his first team in Champaign losing all 11 of its games, but ultimately bouncing back with a 3-8 and 8-4 record in his next two seasons respectively.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Golden Panthers as one of their college football picks, as they’ve gone 1-8 ATS in their last nine opportunities as favorites of 22 or more points.

Sports bettors also need to be aware that the weather forecast suggest game-time temperatures in the upper-80s, with a 80 percent chance of thunderstorms Saturday.

College Football Pick:  FIU Golden Panthers +25.5 at 5Dimes

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