Pitt vs Miami Odds, Picks: How to Bet This ACC Tilt
Pictured: Miami guard Isaiah Wong. (Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Pitt vs Miami Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
With Virginia likely to win at home against Louisville and clinch a share of the ACC title, Pittsburgh’s road trip to Miami will decide a share of the conference title. Pittsburgh was picked to finish 14th out of 15 in the preseason poll, but the Panthers will be the No. 1 seed in Greensboro for the ACC Tournament if they win this game Saturday.
Miami has the same opportunity if it wins, as both Miami and Pitt would hold a head-to-head tiebreaker with Virginia for the top seed in the conference tournament. Pitt won the first meeting with a stunning late comeback, closing the game on an 11-0 run to win 71-68.
The Hurricanes are favored at home to win the rematch and opened as a 6.5-point favorite. There are some questions surrounding the health of the Hurricanes as Miami guard Nijel Pack is listed as questionable. He’s been limited in practice and his status is one to watch.
Pittsburgh’s offense is one of the most perimeter heavy in the country. The Panthers are second in the ACC in 3-point attempt rate and are shooting 36.1% from beyond the arc in conference play. The Panthers don’t play a ton of defense, but they’re capable of scoring with any offense in a down ACC. Head coach Jeff Capel hit the transfer portal hard and as a result, Pitt has one of the oldest and most experienced rosters in the country.
The offense runs a ton of pick-and-roll ball screens and has two players — Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton — capable of play making off those. The offense is in the 99th percentile in points per possession in pick-and-roll possessions where the ball handler takes the shot. If teams can’t defend ball screens or are forced to help off shooters, it’s very hard for them stop Pitt’s offense.
Miami’s ball screen and pick-and-roll defense is mediocre at best. The Hurricanes rank below average in stopping pick-and-roll ball handlers and are in the 33rd percentile, per Synergy, in ball-screen defense. The Panthers should also be able to get offensive rebounds on misses given their rebounding edge.
As much as I don’t like the matchup for the Miami defense, the inverse matchup is even more troubling for Pittsburgh. The Panthers have decent transition defensive numbers — a major key against Miami — but Miami’s guards are really difficult to stop off the dribble and that’s a major weakness of the Pitt defense.
Even in a blowout loss last weekend, Syracuse point guard Judah Mintz and forward Benny Williams had no issues dribbling into the paint and either creating or scoring. Notre Dame then shot 61% from 2-point range on Tuesday and scored 1.24 PPP.
Pittsburgh has major problems guarding cutting action to the basket, which Miami runs often. The Panthers don’t have great individual defenders either, which is an issue in trying to stop Isaiah Wong and potentially Pack.
The one reprieve for the Miami defense is that Pitt isn’t really going to be able to expose the Hurricanes biggest weakness defensively. The Hurricanes have no rim protection — they rank 10th in 2-point defense in the ACC. However, Pittsburgh shoots so much from the perimeter that it may not matter much in this specific matchup.
Pitt vs Miami Betting Pick
The Panthers came out extremely flat on the road at Notre Dame in a tough sandwich spot between a major senior day victory against Syracuse and this contest Saturday. I’d expect a better showing with the league title on the line, but that doesn’t change the fact that Miami’s offense should have its way against the Panthers.
Pittsburgh should be able to score enough to stay close with the Hurricanes, especially if shots are falling. The market opened at 6.5 and took some Pittsburgh money.
I’d wait to see the news on Pack’s status. If he’s in the lineup, I’d bet both Miami -6 and the over at 154.5 or better to expose an overrated and flailing Panthers defense.
Pick: Miami -6 or Better
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