2019 Pitt Panthers College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 7-7
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 5.5
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Last year's Pitt Panthers were left for dead after a 45-13 drubbing at Central Florida left them at 2-3. However, Pat Narduzzi waved his magic wand and the Panthers won five of the next six games, securing the school's first ever ACC Atlantic title and a slot in the conference championship.
Pitt closed out the season with respectable (and spread-covering) losses to Clemson in the ACC Championship and Stanford in the Sun Bowl. Yet I wouldn't say that they have any real momentum coming into this season after last year's relatively bizarre campaign.
This year's Panthers have just 10 returning starters. Offensively, they bid adieu to their top two rushers, who combined for 2,400 yards on the ground, and four starting offensive linemen. On defense, six of their top 12 tacklers used up their eligibility.
In an attempt to shake things up, Narduzzi brought in new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. His main job will be trying to coax more consistency out of junior quarterback Kenny Pickett. Pittsburgh is a perfectly average ACC program and perpetually situated in the league's fat middle class. The hope is that Whipple can light a fire under the offense and make Pitt more competitive against the ACC's better teams.
Pittsburgh has a crucial home game to start the season, hosting a tough Virginia squad. It is always tough to open the year with a conference test. And that one could be a tone-setter for both squads, for good or ill.
Pittsburgh does have a host of winnable home games. They get Ohio, Delaware, North Carolina and Boston College all in the Keystone State. They also have back-to-back revenge games in mid-September, taking on Penn State in Happy Valley before hosting Central Florida.
Narduzzi has been able to wring the most out of every team he's had at Pitt. I don't expect this season to be any different. This team is not any good. But they avoid most of the league powerhouses and have enough winnable home games to get to six wins and steal a bowl bid. I'll call for them to get to 6-6 and to sneak 'over'.
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