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Pitt vs. Western Michigan Betting Odds & Picks: Can Panthers Exact Revenge?

Pitt vs. Western Michigan Betting Odds & Picks: Can Panthers Exact Revenge? article feature image
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  • The Pitt Panthers hit the road to take on the Western Michigan Broncos in Week 3 college football action.
  • The Panthers are looking for revenge after the Broncos walked into their home field and beat them last season.
  • Check out Kody Malstrom's full betting guide and pick for Pitt vs. Western Michigan below.

Pitt vs. Western Michigan Odds

Saturday, Sept. 17
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Pitt Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-10.5
-106
47.5
-115o / -105u
-410
Western Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+10.5
-114
45.5
-115o / -105u
+315
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Nearly 365 days have passed since we witnessed Western Michigan take down Pittsburgh 44-41.

Since then, Pitt went on to win the ACC against Wake Forest, but lost its bowl game against MSU to end the season. This year, the Panthers opened with a thriller against West Virginia, but lost in a heartbreaker last week in OT against Tennessee.

Western, on the other hand, ended its 2021 campaign on a high note by beating a depleted Nevada squad in the Quick Lane Bowl. The Broncos’ outlook isn’t as glamorous this season after massive turnover. Narrowly escaping Ball State with a win, they are currently 1-1 heading into this matchup.

Does Pat Narduzzi get his revenge a full year later?


Pittsburgh Panthers

While Pitt showed some promise as a conference contender against Tennessee, it wasn’t without imperfection, as it took a massive blow at the most important position.

The Panthers head into this one with uncertainty at quarterback. Kedon Slovis was ruled out with a concussion, and backup Nick Patti suffered a severe ankle injury on a scramble, although he stayed in the game for overtime.

No matter who starts, they are not short of weapons, as we may see a run-heavy script against Western’s poor rush defense. Israel Abanikanda had a good showing last time out, rushing for 154 yards and one touchdown at an average of 6.2 yards per carry.

He is poised for another big game, as he looks to take advantage of the Broncos’ near dead last ranking in Line Yards and Defensive Rush Success metrics.

YOU CAN'T CATCH ISRAEL ABANIKANDA💨

pic.twitter.com/zxf3PrGb0U

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 10, 2022

Speaking of defense, will the real Pitt defense please stand up? While the metrics may be skewed after it faced high-powered offenses in West Virginia and Tennessee, it was still alarming to see it struggle to slow them down after years of shelling out vaunted defenses.

That is especially true with a majority of the Panthers’ production returning from last year.

The defensive line has its part down — clogging the trenches and generating backfield pressure — but the secondary has been getting cooked.

This game is a good tune-up opportunity to get the defense back on track in preparation for conference season, where more explosive offenses will be on deck.


Western Michigan Broncos

This isn’t the Western Michigan we have known and loved over years past — the team that cashed our season win total over last year.

Western Michigan has been decimated by turnover this season, ranking 129th in Offensive TARP at 21% and 112th in Defensive TARP at 42%.

The lack of continuity is apparent, as the offense has gone into lulls, rarely sustaining a productive drive. This has led the Broncos to rely on explosive plays to put them in scoring position, a style of offense that will struggle against Pitt’s backfield pressure.

Should the line hold its own, there will be opportunities to exploit the Pitt secondary. That unit has not shown so far this season that it can limit open-field plays, as it owns below average Success Rates and a 92nd rank in PFF Tackling.

It will be up to the backfield combo of Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson to give Western’s offense some life, as quarterback Jack Salopek has struggled via the air. The duo has combined for 273 yards and five touchdowns so far this season.

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Pitt vs. Western Michigan Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Pitt and Western Michigan match up statistically:

Pitt Offense vs. Western Michigan Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 78 92
Line Yards 118 122
Pass Success 73 65
Pass Blocking** 65 122
Havoc 106 107
Finishing Drives 80 68
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Western Michigan Offense vs. Pitt Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 47 69
Line Yards 88 31
Pass Success 77 88
Pass Blocking** 119 37
Havoc 99 23
Finishing Drives 47 74
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 92 87
PFF Coverage 41 92
SP+ Special Teams 125 30
Seconds per Play 27.9 (96) 27.0 (81)
Rush Rate 53.1% (62) 50.3% (74)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Pitt vs. Western Michigan Betting Pick

Projected at -19, per Collin Wilson’s projections, I was surprised to see this open at -10. That is a number I jumped on immediately, and one that you can still find out there.

Even with questions at the most important position, Pitt is more than capable of still moving the ball on the ground. That’s an identity the Panthers have been accustomed to in years past.

The defense has also yet to show up, albeit going against two good offenses in WVU and Tennessee. This matchup can serve as a get-right game for the Pitt secondary, as the Broncos’ offense has struggled to generate any production so far this season.

Take Pitt in a revenge spot at no higher than -13.5. This will be a reminder as to why it’s a serious ACC contender.

Pick: Pitt -10 (Play to -13.5)

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