Pittsburgh Panthers -3 Over the Virginia Cavaliers- NCAA Football Week 7

Pittsburgh Panthers Player

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 6:12 PM GMT

Since starting off the season at 0-3, the Cavaliers have won 2 consecutive games and look to reach the .500 mark. Can this underdog Virginia team knock off Pittsburgh who have won 2 in a row themselves?

 

According to 5Dimes Sportsbook, home field advantage does come into play as the Panthers are just a 3 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 61.5.

The Panthers have been very consistent on the offensive end of the football, scoring no less than 28 points in any game in their first 6 games. They've averaged 37.8 points per game and come into this game on somewhat of a roll. It took them the entire 60 minutes to knock off Georgia Tech as they scored 10 unanswered points in the last 3 minutes and 50 seconds of the game to come away with the victory in dramatic fashion.

 

Well Balanced Attack

This is a well-balanced offense featuring senior quarterback, Nathan Peterman (1115 yards , 9 TD, 2 INT) and Peterman is an efficient passer that doesn't make mistakes.

He's completed 65% of his passes and hasn't thrown a pick in his last 3 games. Peterman has a wide variety of options to choose from as Pittsburgh has 4 rushers who've accumulated over 100 yards this season and the Panthers have a total of 17 rushing touchdowns. It doesn't stop there as they have 4 receivers with 169 yards or more led by junior receiver, Jester Weah. Weah has 348 yards and 3 TD's and actually missed a game. He had a monster performance against Marshall in which he caught for 176 yards and 1 TD and he's just one of Peterman's options to choose from.

 

James Conner and Quadree Henderson

Every team needs a good rushing attack to be effective and the Panthers have the combination of James Conner (441 yards, 5 TD's ) and Quadree Henderson (343 yards, 3 TD's). While Connor is more of a grinder that gets the bulk of the work, Henderson is averaging an eye-popping 11.1 yards per carry. Pittsburgh has more than enough offense to deal with the Cavaliers and should be quite effective as a mere field goal favorite.

Both teams have much tougher schedules in the second half of the season and this is a huge game for Virginia, who can ill-afford to lose the fourth game this season.

 

Kurt Benkert and the Virginia Passing Game

The Cavaliers are most effective through the air, scoring at a 2/1 ratio of pass to rush, but can also run the football and pass the ball quite effectively. This team is better than their record indicates. They have 3 players with 264 yards or more, led by receiver Olamide Zaccheaus. Zacchaeus has had no problem in dealing with the bigger safeties as he's caught 12 passes for 183 yards and 3 TD's in his last 2 games. 

Quarterback, Kurt Benkert will need to be at his best as this game could turn into a track meet and his counterpart doesn't turn the ball over. Benkert has really turned it on as of late, throwing for 757 yards with 8 TD's and 2 INT's in his last 2 games. This should be a very competitive matchup as the betting odds indicate, but in the end, Pittsburgh has a bit more offensive firepower and isn't a team that's going to beat themselves with careless turnovers.

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Free College Football Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers -3 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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