College football gambling handicappers will have their choice of two of those contenders on Friday with the NCAA football gambling matchup of West Virginia at Pitt.
The Pitt Panthers will host the West Virginia Mountaineers with an ABC telecast set to begin on Friday at noon ET. Sports-Gambling opened with Pitt as a 2 point favorite. Pitt leads the Big East with a conference record of 4-1 with West Virginia and Connecticut right behind at 3-2.
The West Virginia/Pitt series is known as the “Backyard Brawl” and this year’s edition is one of the most important matchups in the history of the series.
The West Virginia Mountaineers have a record of 7-3 straight up and 6-4 with the college football odds as 7 of their games have gone under the total. The Mounties are coming off a 17-10 win at Louisville last week for their second consecutive win.
Defense is what makes the Mountaineer team as they rank 4th overall in the nation as well as 4th for points allowed. Offense is another matter, however, as West Virginia ranks 80th in the nation for scoring and is regressing.
The unit does have ability with quarterback Geno Smith, who has a 19/6 touchdown/interception ratio and running back Noel Devine, who has 828 yards with a 4.5 yards per carry average. The lack of a big play receiver has been a concern.
The Pitt Panthers have a record of 6-4 straight up and 5-3-2 against the spread with 6 of their games going over the total. Pitt is coming off a 17-10 payout with the college football lines at South Florida last week.
Pitt is similar to West Virginia in that defense is their strength as they rank 12th overall in the country while the inconsistent offense ranks 75th nationally. Sophomore quarterback Tino Sunseri has shown solid improvement in his first year as starter and has a 67% completion rate with a 7.9 yards per attempt average and a 14/6 TD/INT ratio.
Ray Graham has been phenomenal out of the backfield with 804 yards rushing and a 6.7 yards per carry average.
The host has paid out in 5 of the last 7 college football gambling matchups in this series.