Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan Odds, Betting Pick, Predictions: Quick Lane Bowl Spread Moves Toward Panthers

Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan Odds, Betting Pick, Predictions: Quick Lane Bowl Spread Moves Toward Panthers article feature image

Charles LeClaire, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kenny Pickett

  • Pitt is a 13-point favorite over Eastern Michigan in the latest 2019 Quick Lane Bowl odds, with the over/under at 50.
  • The Panthers boast the best unit in this game with a top 25 defense.
  • The spread has been moving in Pitt's favor all day. See our experts' picks and how we're betting Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan.

Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan Odds

  • Odds: Pitt -12
  • Over/Under: 49
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • Location: Detroit, Mich.

Who do you trust: Solid MAC quarterback or legit Power 5 defense? MAC team happy to be bowling at all or Power 5 team sent to Detroit the day after Christmas?

That’s what we’ve got in Thursday’s Quick Lane Bowl between Pitt and Eastern Michigan.

Let’s dive in.

Odds as of Thursday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.

Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan Line Movement

The bets have been split almost down the middle, but the majority of money (68%) have come in on Pitt. That’s moved the line from -10.5 to as high as -13 in some spots.

Collin Wilson: Who Wants to Be There?

I do have to wonder how motivated the Panthers will be for this one. Pitt was rumored to be headed to the Military Bowl, but was passed up in favor of a North Carolina team it defeated during the season. Losses to Virginia Tech and Boston College did the Panthers no favors and landed them in Detroit.

As for the Eagles, this is their second bowl game in as many years and they will just be happy to be playing one more time. Eastern Michigan finished 6-6 and was in danger of being the lone six-win team not to make a bowl game, but a win over Illinois was probably the tie-breaker that earned the Eagles a shot.

EMU is led by senior quarterback Mike Glass, who led the MAC in total offense and had 29 total touchdowns. If Glass can move the ball, the Eagles can hang with the Panthers, but that’s a tall ask as Pitt’s defense ranks third passing success rate and havoc.

Glass may be able to get the Eagles down field, but getting points will be another question entirely. Pittsburgh is 12th overall in preventing touchdowns when their opponent gets inside the red zone and Eastern Michigan’s kicking game isn’t all that great. Don’t be surprised if you see a few long dives end with no points.

Pitt isn’t the type of team built that will blow you out. The Panthers rank 102nd in passing success and 104th in rushing success and, perhaps most importantly, 128th in finishing drives and 125th red zone points per attempt. The Panthers didn’t win a single game by more than 10 points this season and that includes a game against FCS Delaware.

The Eagles rush defense is one of the worst in the country, and even though Pitt’s rushing attack isn’t anything to write home about, offensive coordinator Mark Whipple may try to keep the ball on the ground to exploit that weakness. If that is the case, the clock should be moving in a game that features a sluggish offense against a bad defense and a good passing offense against one of the nation’s best pass defenses.

The current spread has no value according to our Action Network projections, but if this steams past +13, I will come in on Eastern Michigan.

Stuckey: The Best Unit Is…

I’m actually going to slightly disagree with Collin here.

The best unit in this game by far is the Pitt defense, which is a bona fide top 20 unit in all of college football. The Panthers also match up very well with an Eastern Michigan offense led by QB Mike Glass that relies on quick passes (13th in passing success rate but just 76th in explosiveness).

The Pitt defense, which excels at getting pressure while playing a lot of tight man on the outside, can take away a lot of what EMU wants to do on offense.

On the other side of the ball, it’s bad on bad as Pitt’s offense struggled all year long across the board. However, they might be able to get some things going. I think a large part of that had to do with an identity crisis after hiring offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, whose pass first mentality contradicts with Narduzzi’s desire to pound the rock.

That said, you’d think the Pitt offense should be able to move the ball against an absolutely atrocious EMU defense, especially in the trenches where the Eagles rank 129th in both Line Yards and Stuff Rate. Their defensive line gets no push and can be bullied at the point of attack.

I actually make this line a tad over 14. The only question is if Pitt cares about playing a bowl game the day after Christmas in Detroit against a MAC team that many thought wouldn’t get a bowl invitation.

If they do, the Panthers defense matches up well and they should dominate in the trenches on both sides of the ball. As a result, I’m, looking at Pitt and the under here at Ford Field.

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