College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Minnesota vs. Pitt: Where Does the Value Lie?
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- Two rebuilding teams, Minnesota and Pitt, face off in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
- The Golden Gophers are undefeated, while the Panthers have struggled, losing buy games to The Citadel and UMBC.
- Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.
Minnesota vs. Pitt Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Minnesota looks to keep its undefeated season alive, as it travels to the Petersen Events Center to face Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
In a season that sees record returning production due to the extra year of eligibility, both programs are in a full blown rebuild.
Pitt lost its top three scorers from last season and has been struggling to replace missing offensive production.
Through six games, the Panthers are 2-4 and averaging just 62 points per game. They have lost two games to opponents that rank outside the top 200, according to KenPom, in The Citadel and UMBC.
Minnesota, on the other hand, is undefeated winning all five of its non-conference games to this point. The Gophers have leaned on their defense against inferior opponents, as they have faced the 179th-easiest strength of schedule to this point.
This matchup includes two of the bottom teams in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and where the offense will come from remains to be seen.
Minnesota started last season 9-1 before winning just five of its final 19 games. The Gophers were abysmal offensively, ranking outside the top 330 in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
The Gophers are without their top seven scorers from the 2021 roster and will need to replace 96% of their scoring production from last season. Through five games, Minnesota hasn’t had an issue doing that, winning its first five games.
The production has been replaced by junior transfer Jamison Battle, who has averaged 17.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season. Payton Willis transferred from Charleston and has been a nice counterpart, averaging 16.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Minnesota hasn’t faced a Power 5 program yet and its most impressive win is against the 111th-ranked Western Kentucky.
Minnesota owns the 54th-ranked defensive efficiency and has held opponents to under 60 points per game. The defense has dominated the 3-point line, holding opponents to 21.4%, which ranks third in the country.
Ben Johnson’s squad has held teams to just 41.9% shooting, which is 17th best to date.
Pittsburgh opened last season 8-2, including a win over Duke, before losing 10 of its final dozen games.
The program lost its top three scorers from last season in Justin Champagnie, Au’Diese Toney and Xavier Johnson. The three combined for 46.6 of the team’s 71 points per game.
The two key components that returned to the program were the combo guards of Nike Sibande and Ithiel Horton. But both look to be out for the season after Sibande tore his ACL in an exhibition game in the preseason.
Horton was suspended indefinitely — and could be out for the year — after he was arrested and charged for aggravated assault. Horton was a sharpshooter who averaged 8.9 points and connected on over 40% of his 3-point attempts.
Now, Pittsburgh is without its top five scorers from last season that combined for 88% of the points. The scoring woes have hurt the Panthers through six games, as they average just 62 points per game.
The young squad has averaged just four 3-pointers per game and is shooting 28% on its attempts (311th nationally). They have struggled at taking care of the basketball, turning the ball over on 24% of their possessions, which ranks 332nd.
Minnesota vs. Pitt Betting Pick
Both programs are in full rebuild mode after losing over 85% of their scoring from the 2021 season.
The Pittsburgh offense has yet to find consistent replacements and has struggled to score. Life won’t get any easier for the Panthers, as they are matching up against a Minnesota defense that has been dominant through five games.
Pittsburgh’s 3-point shooting has been awful and it ranks outside the top 220 in field goal percentage. Minnesota has held opponents to 41% on field goal attempts and ranks third in defending the outside shot.
Pittsburgh plays at one of the slowest paces in the country, ranking 301st nationally in tempo, according to KenPom.
This matchup is between two of the bottom teams in their respected conferences trying to find an identity with so many new faces. It should be a defensive battle that will have many scoring droughts.