Pitt vs. Vanderbilt College Basketball Odds, Picks: 2 Ways to Back Panthers
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jamarius Burton (Pitt)
- Pitt has been on a roll of late and now has to face Vanderbilt on the road.
- That might actually be good news for the Panthers, though, as the Commodores have struggled in their home building.
- Keg breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Pitt vs. Vanderbilt Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After dropping three games in a row early in the season, Pitt has been on absolute tear. The Panthers are currently riding a five-game win streak with some impressive upsets over Northwestern and NC State in their last two games.
Vanderbilt, meanwhile, has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games. Not to mention, the Commodores’ home court continues to lack much of a competitive advantage, as the team currently ranks 186th in home court advantage by KenPom. Vanderbilt is just 2-2 at home to start the season.
The Commodores have losses to teams worse than Pittsburgh already this season, with their worst defeat coming at home to Southern Miss, which is ranked 179th (per KenPom).
Do the Commodores have what it takes to hold off a streaking Panthers team?
The Panthers have posted an impressive record of 4-1 ATS in their last five games, winning outright by 29 as a 7.5-point dog to Northwestern and by eight as a 10-point underdog against NC State.
Have the oddsmakers learned their lesson and adjusted to Pitt? I’m not so sure.
The Panthers fall in around the top 100 when it comes to both scoring and points allowed, putting 72.7 on the board while giving up 66.4 on average.
But there are areas — a few areas specifically — where the Panthers outshine the status quo.
One of the most important against Vandy will be their ability to come down with rebounds at both ends of the floor.
Pitt ranks inside the top 100 when it comes to both offensive and defensive rebounds per game, ranking 41st nationally with 39.2 total rebounds per game on average.
Against a Vandy team that is one of the best in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage, controlling the glass could be a deciding factor.
The Panthers have also been one of the best when it comes to drawing fouls. Teams are averaging 19.1 fouls per game against the Panthers. And against a Vandy team that already ranks 235th in the nation with 18.1 fouls per game, I fully expect foul trouble to be an issue for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt has struggled at the offensive end, averaging just 67.8 points per game. And as I mentioned, both fouls and securing rebounds have been an issue for the Commodores, as well.
If Vanderbilt wants to stay above .500 at home, it’ll need to rely on the one facet of its game that has been consistent this season: its defense.
In three of Vanderbilt’s four wins this season, it has held its opponent to less than 63 points. In three of the Dores’ four losses this season, the opposing team has recorded 63 or more.
One specific area they’ll need to key in against Pitt is their defense on the perimeter. The Panthers rank 40th among Division I teams when it comes to 3-point attempts and are averaging 8.4 made 3-pointers per game.
Pitt also sees 34.9% of its scoring come from beyond the arc.
If Vanderbilt can continue to defend the perimeter — as it has all season (holding teams to just 27.8%) — it can not only win this game, but cover the spread for just the second time at home.
Pitt vs. Vanderbilt Betting Pick
While I do think the Vanderbilt defense can challenge Pitt, I’m not sure the Dores’ offense can do enough to keep up.
The Panthers’ ability to dominate on the glass and get to the free-throw line will be the deciding factor in this one. And I’ll be taking any points available with the Panthers, while also making a small wager on their moneyline, as well.