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College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Prediction for Pitt vs. NC State (Friday, Dec. 2)

College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Prediction for Pitt vs. NC State (Friday, Dec. 2) article feature image

Photo by Peyton Williams/Getty Images. Pictured: Terquavion Smith (NC State)

  • NC State takes on Pittsburgh in an ACC battle on Friday evening.
  • Will the Panthers be able to stop the Wolfpack's Terquavion Smith?
  • Keg breaks it down and more as he previews the matchup from a betting perspective.

Pitt vs. NC State Odds

Friday, Dec. 2
7 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Pitt Odds
-110o / -110u
NC State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Wolfpack open up ACC play on Friday night when the Pitt Panthers come to town. NC State is off to a fast start, having already posted a 7-1 record, the Wolfpack's best start to a season since the 2018-19 campaign.

Pitt, meanwhile, started the season 5-3, but is riding a four-game winning streak. Extending that streak may be easier said than done against a Wolfpack team that leads the conference in scoring, turnovers and steals.

Do the Panthers have what it takes to crash the Wolfpack's opening-night party? Or will NC State move one game closer to matching that historic 13-1 start from just a few years ago?

Pitt Panthers

The Panthers haven't just won four games in a row — they've won four games in a row by an average of 21.5 points. While their first three wins came against teams that rank outside the top 300 (per KenPom), putting up 87 points on an elite Northwestern defense is nothing to look down on.

The trio of Blake Hinson, Jamarius Burton and John Hugley IV lead the Panthers' offense, as each is averaging double-digit points and more than 4.5 rebounds per game.

The Pitt offense might not be the most efficient — the Panthers are ranked 129th in effective field goal percentage — but there is one key factor that could be huge against the Wolfpack — their sheer quantity of shots.

Over their past five games, the Panthers rank in the 80th percentile in both 3-point attempts and 3-point rate. Additionally, they've been hitting at 38.1% from beyond the arc during that same period.

Up against a Wolfpack defense that is allowing teams to hit 34.3% from deep, this could be one of the Panthers' biggest advantages in this game.

However, one of their biggest disadvantages will be avoiding turnovers. The Panthers rank outside the top-200 nationally and are turning the ball over on 20.4% of possessions.

Meanwhile, NC State is forcing a turnover on 22.3% of its opponent's possessions.

It will definitely be a challenge slowing down NC State's offense — which has been one of the most efficient in the country — but Pitt has been able to hold teams to 30.3% from deep and just 47.4% from the floor.

My biggest concern for the Panthers defensively is that they will let the Wolfpack dictate the pace. NC State is averaging the 34th-fastest Adjusted Tempo among all Division I teams.

NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack offense boasts what seems like an endless list of impressive metrics.

Jarkel Joiner was named ACC Player of the Week after averaging 19.7 points per game during the Battle 4 Atlantis last week.

And much like Pitt, the Wolfpack are elite from beyond the arc. In fact, these teams rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the ACC when it comes to 3-pointers made per game (NC State is No. 1 with nine per game).

The biggest challenge for NC State will be maintaining its dominance on the glass. In seven of eight games this season, NC State has out-rebounded its opponent. The lone exception? A loss to Kansas.

Meanwhile, Pitt ranks ahead of NC State when it comes to rebounding margin among ACC teams, and has out-rebounded opponents in six of eight games.

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Pitt vs. NC State Betting Pick

When these two teams met a season ago, Pitt held Terquavion Smith to just six points. But it wasn't enough, as NC State went on to win the game. 71-69.

Not only do I think the Panthers will be unable to hold Smith to less than 10 again, I'm not sure either team will have much success on the defensive end.

Given how well this NC State team has been able to score — paired up with its desire to push the pace — I think we could get into a high-scoring affair very quickly.

I'd feel comfortable in this game going over the total at 146.5 or better.

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