Take Pittsburgh -6 vs. Miami With Your College Football Picks

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 7:24 PM GMT

It's the final game of the regular season for both Miami and Pittsburgh, with each school looking to improve bowl position. The Panthers are 6-point home favorites on Pinnacle's college football odds.

Miami Still Under Interim Coach
The next time Miami plays at home, who will be the team's coach? Of course Al Golden was fired following an embarrassing 58-0 home loss to Clemson on Oct. 24. Larry Scott has been the interim coach since then and the Hurricanes have gone a solid 3-1 under him, but Scott's not getting the full-time job. Most people expect it to either be former Miami coach and current ESPN analyst Butch Davis, who was the betting favorite when  Bovada had a prop on this, or former Florida International coach and ex-Hurricanes player Mario Cristobal. He's currently the offensive line coach at Alabama.  Both guys would jump at the chance to take the job, no question.  You had heard Charlie Strong's name mentioned as a candidate with his ties to the state of Florida, but reports on Monday were that Strong no longer has any interest.

Miami (7-4, 4-3) is off a 38-21 home win over Georgia Tech on Saturday. Freshman running back Mark Walton ran for two touchdowns and caught a pass for another score, and Miami turned four Yellow Jackets turnovers into 21 points. Walton became the third Miami freshman to run for a score and catch a scoring pass in the same ACC game, joining Stacy Coley and Travis Benjamin. Brad Kaaya, one of the ACC's best quarterbacks, passed for 300 yards and a touchdown. He leads the ACC with 2,758 passing yards. The Miami defense was fortunate Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas missed most of the game due to injury suffered in the first quarter.

Two Miami reserves were suspended vs. Georgia Tech in junior tight end Stan Dobard and sophomore wide receiver Tyre Brady. Dobard has eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Brady has nine catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. They should both be back now. During that game, banners flew over Sun Life Stadium advocating for Davis as Miami's next coach.

UM is 6-5 against the spread on college football odds and 6-5 'over/under.'

 

Pitt Has Only Lost To Ranked Teams
Pittsburgh (8-3, 6-1) could technically share the ACC Coastal Division title with North Carolina if Pitt wins and the Tar Heels fall to NC State. But UNC is headed to the ACC title game against Clemson regardless. Pitt comes off a 45-34 win over Louisville. Nathan Peterman threw four touchdown passes, all in the second quarter. Freshman Qadree Ollison ran for 152 yards and a score as Pitt reached eight wins for in the regular season for the first time since 2009. Tyler Boyd, one of the nation's top receivers, caught 11 balls for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Pitt's Ejuan Price was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday and deservedly so. The senior defensive end had 10 tackles, six tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks against Louisville. That sack total was the highest by an FBS player this year and fell one shy of the national record. He is the first Pitt player with at least 4.5 sacks in a game since 1987. Price helped Pitt limit Louisville to minus-1 yard on the ground, the first time Pitt held an opponent to negative yards rushing since 2002. The Panthers average 3.36 sacks per contest to rank first in the ACC and fifth nationally. Price's average of 1.05 sacks per game ranks fourth in the nation.

Pitt's three losses this season are to teams with a combined 31-2 record: No. 3 Iowa (11-0), No. 4 Notre Dame (10-1) and No. 11 North Carolina (10-1). The Panthers are 6-5 ATS on college football picks and 6-5 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
These teams closed the 2014 regular season against one another in south Florida and the Panthers won 35-23 to get bowl-eligible. James Conner (out for this season) rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns for Pitt, which rushed for 226 yards. Chad Voytik was 8-for-12 for 134 yards and a touchdown. Boyd had five catches for 72 yards and a score. Pitt never trailed, scoring touchdowns on three of its first four possessions. The Panthers had lost their last eight games against the Hurricanes since 1997.  Kaaya was 22-for-45 for 296 yards and two scores for Miami in a losing effort. At home, Pitt is 5-13 all-time in this series. It is seeking back-to-back victories in the series for the first time since winning the 1970 and 1976 games.

College Football Picks: UM isn't a very good road team so take Pitt -6 at Pinnacle. The Canes are 0-5 ATS in their past five after a win. Pitt is 4-1 ATS in its past five November games. 

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