Late-Breaking Developments Surrounding Pinstripe Bowl Might Benefit Bettors

James Conner Of Pitt

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 5:24 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 5:24 PM UTC

There is a lot of time between when bowls are announced and when they are played. Our college football handicapper brings us the latest news on the Pinstripe Bowl being played on December 28th.

As we get closer to the Pinstripe Bowl, let’s look at some late-breaking developments that could affect our wager on this game. Fortunately for us, all the news favors our original call to back Pitt at -5:

 Pitt RB James Conner Declares for NFL Draft

In a message to his Twitter followers, Pitt RB James Conner has forgone his senior year and declared for the NFL draft. Having beat cancer and a significant knee injury, I can’t say I blame him for trying to get his payday a year earlier. Conner has confirmed that he is playing in this bowl game, though, so I expect that he will come out with a passion for trying to increase his draft stock. He won’t act alone, though, as Pitt’s offensive line has shown they can play inspired football and open up huge lanes for the big running back.

 Pitt OC Matt Canada Hired By LSU

After leading Pittsburgh to a major turnaround in their offensive output this year, offensive coordinator, Matt Canada, has been hired to the same position at LSU. It’s a big payday for the coach, who will reportedly make much more than the $900k offered by Pitt to stay in the same position at LSU. The good news for Pitt backers is that Canada will stay on to coach in the Pinstripe Bowl, and I expect him to try to put on a show for his new benchwarmers at LSU. He should pull out all the stops in this game.

 Line Moves Toward Pitt in Limited Action

So far, the line has opened at -5 and gone up to -5.5 favoring Pitt in this game. However, my research concludes that minimal action is being seen in this game so far. I expect that after all of the Christmas weekend games are done that a flood of action will fall on the side of Pitt in this game, moving the line past 6 and maybe to 7 favoring Pitt.

Pitt has already sold out of its first allotment of 7,000 tickets, and are expected to sell out of their 2nd allotment as well. It is confirmed that the Pitt fans are traveling well in this game, so we need to think of it as a home game for Pitt and another challenge for Northwestern to overcome. I’m adding Pitt -3 in the 1st half as another pick for me in this bowl game.

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