Western Michigan vs. Pitt Odds, Prediction, Pick: How to Bet Saturday’s Total (Sept. 18)

Western Michigan vs. Pitt Odds, Prediction, Pick: How to Bet Saturday’s Total (Sept. 18) article feature image

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenny Pickett.

Western Michigan vs. Pitt Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
12 p.m. ET
Western Michigan Odds
-110o / -110u
Pitt Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Western Michigan Broncos travel to Heinz Field to battle the high-flying Pitt Panthers.

This is the first-ever meeting between these two programs. Pitt has yet to face anyone who can keep up on offense, but do the Broncos have the answer to stifle it?

Western Michigan Broncos

The Broncos kicked off their season by visiting "Big Blue" in Ann Arbor. They were blown away as Michigan ran it down their throats and then hit big passes over the top all game long.

Western Michigan then took its chance to dominate last week against Illinois State. The Broncos were in complete control but did not run up the score.

With both their games being on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, we have not really seen the true Broncos' identity. This matchup with Pitt will be very telling.

Broncos Offense

Western Michigan's offense can be accurately described as average. It has a more run-centric scheme and has a solid tandem to execute it with. La'Darius Jefferson and Sean Tyler have combined to rush for 5.2 yards per carry.

This matchup with Pitt presents a similar game script to what we saw against Michigan. The Broncos may have to throw the ball more than they would like to.

Quarterback Kaleb Eleby has been solid but is only averaging 6.3 yards per completion. The key for this offense is to establish a pace to help it succeed.

Broncos Defense

Though this Broncos defense allowed 47 points and 511 yards to the Wolverines, it actually has not performed that bad. The Broncos are coming off a shutout of the Illinois State offense where they held the opposition to 1.1 yards per rush and 1.5 yards per completion.

The Broncos have underlying metrics in their favor as they rank 20th in Pass Success and fifth in Finishing Drives. Pitt's offense plays to the Broncos' strengths and could have some difficulty with the Western Michigan secondary.

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Pittsburgh Panthers

The Pitt Panthers are coming off a huge victory on the road over Tennessee.

After falling behind 10-0 in the opening quarter, the Panthers outscored the Volunteers 27-10 over the remainder of the half. The Panthers look to carry that momentum back home in this matchup with Western Michigan.

Panthers Offense

The Pitt offense comes with all cylinders firing as it is averaging 46 points per game and over 497 yards of total offense.

Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett has been hot to start the season. He's completed 70% of his passes without committing a turnover, while also using his legs when needed.

Much of his success is a direct result of the offensive line's great play. The Panthers are ninth in Pass Blocking. Look for Pickett to keep slinging the ball in this matchup.

Panthers Defense

A big part of any comeback is the defense and Pitt's really recovered nicely against Tennessee after shutting down UMass. In all, Pitt has held opponents to 4.7 yards per play.

The success all starts up front for this defense. The Panthers rank fifth in Line Yards which correlates to ranking 13th in Rushing Success. The defense will play a critical role against the Broncos' rushing attack.

Western Michigan vs. Pitt Matchup Analysis

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

Western Michigan Offense vs. Pitt Defense




Rush Success3513
Line Yards365
Pass Success9722
Pass Blocking*7416
Big Play90105
Finishing Drives10885
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pitt Offense vs. Western Michigan Defense




Rush Success10272
Line Yards11368
Pass Success4720
Pass Blocking*997
Big Play3656
Finishing Drives265
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling123107
PFF Coverage7064
Middle 85831
SP+ Special Teams12755
Plays per Minute11030
Rush Rate58.5% (46)51.2% (83)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.

This matchup will be pitting each team's strengths against one another. So much of this game will be decided on the amount of rushing success the Broncos can have.

If they can run the ball and keep Pickett on the sidelines, they'll be in a great position.  If the Panthers shut down the run game and force incompletions on third down, the game could be out of hand quickly.

Western Michigan vs. Pitt Betting Pick

This line is sitting at 15.5 which historically has been a tall task for the Panthers under Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers are only 3-9-1 against the spread when favored by 14 or more points. Though the Panthers' passing prowess had made me more in favor of total in this game.

The total opened at 60.5 but has been hammered down to 57.5. There are multiple avenues for the game to go under this total, and that number still holds value.

It may even go back up, in which case take the better number, but I like the total to even a field goal lower.

Pick: Under 57.5 (Play to 54.5)

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