Points Galore In Pittsburgh vs. Marshall Contest - Free College Football Pick

Willie Bee

Friday, September 30, 2016 4:15 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 30, 2016 4:15 PM UTC

Pittsburgh is better than a 2-TD favorite on the college football odds this Saturday when the Panthers meet the Marshall Thundering Herd for the first time. If you are looking for a Chasing pick, you've come to the right place.


We've seen sports books offering the Marshall Thundering Herd as high as +17½ points this week for their Iron City matchup against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Early money was on the visitors, driving that spread down to 15½ at most top rated sportsbooks.

The ACC Network provides pictures and boring commentary on the interconference clash, the boot coming a little past 7:30 PM (ET) at the convergence of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, the two from there known as the Monongahela. Like the spread, the total has also dropped a bit, starting around 70 and dipping to 67½.

Saturday's collision marks the first time the two schools have met. Marshall's last tango with ACC teams came in 2011 with mixed results, a 17-13 upset win at Louisville and a 30-10 setback at home vs. Virginia Tech a week earlier that season. Herd backers cashed twice getting 11 and 20½ points, respectively, on the NCAA football odds. The last time Pitt faced a team from Conference USA was two years ago when the Panthers traveled to Miami for a 42-25 victory over Florida International, failing to cover as 24½ point chalk.


Herd Hopes To Exploit Weak Pitt Pass Defense

The best thing you can say about Marshall's last game is Doc Holliday's squad put up more of a fight against Louisville than Florida State did a week earlier. The Thundering Herd pushed a 31 point line in the 59-28 loss, helping 'over' bettors cash for the third consecutive Marshall game, and actually outscored all Cardinals not named Lamar Jackson, 28-10.

Holliday's side had to play without its starting quarterback, and the best thing about this matchup is Chase Litton has been upgraded to probable after passing through the Marshall medical staff's concussion protocol. Litton was injured in the loss to Akron, and was off to a big start to the season with 10 TD passes and over 700 yards in the Herd's first two games.

Having Litton back should give Marshall a huge lift, and it comes against a Pitt defense that is next-to-last in the country allowing over 360 YPG passing...and would be last if not for playing a patsy like Villanova in the season opener. The Panthers' last three opponents -- Penn State, Oklahoma State and North Carolina -- averaged more 440 yards through the air.

 Pitt Pass Rush Can Be Feast Or Famine

Part of the reason for all the passing yards is a blitzing defense that is tied for the lead in sacks with 17 through four games. It's something head coach Pat Narduzzi and defensive coordinator Josh Conklin have to balance out or the Panthers will be meat through the remainder of the ACC slate (except maybe next week vs. Georgia Tech).

There is some good news on the injury front for Pittsburgh as well as linebacker Mike Caprara (leg) is upgraded to probable Saturday vs. Marshall. The senior out of Turtle Creek, PA missed last week's game and is big part the pressure the Panthers put on QBs.

Rain is in the Iron City forecast throughout the day, but the chances diminish in the evening when the thermometer should be in the low-60s for kickoff. The total coming down is good news to me as I'm going the other way with an 'over' play for my free college football pick.

Remember to drop by SBR's list of the best-ranked bonuses, and find out which of the top sportsbooks is offering the top rated sportsbooks.

Season: 9-12-1 (-3.55)


Free College Football Pick: Over 67½ 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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