Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS), 12:00 p.m. EST, College Football Week Four, Saturday, September 34, 2011, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, TV: ABC
by Scotty L of Predictem.com
Point Spread: ND -7/Pittsburgh +7
Over/ Under Total: OFF
Bet the ND/Pitt game at an online bookie that offers -105 reduced odds betting on not just football, but hoops as well. They also offer fat 20 point football teasers, which are huge fun. Find all this and more at 5Dimes.
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame make the trip to Heinz Field to take on the Pitt Panthers on Saturday. Notre Dame overcame a heartbreaking loss to Michigan the week before to trounce 15th ranked Michigan State on Saturday. Pittsburgh will now attempt to follow suit-following a gut-wrenching loss at Iowa last week.
It figured that it was only a matter of time before Notre Dame began to show why people were high on this team in the preseason. They put it together against Michigan State and finally closed out a game properly. Their vast talent in the offensive and defensive playmaker department were on display and one can't help but wonder if the Fighting Irish are perhaps prepared to turn this season around after an 0-2 start.
Pitt was up on Iowa late in the 3rd quarter 24-3. They were close to going to 3-0 and in just over a quarter, managed to throw a totally different light on their season and their prospects. In winning their first two games, they were hardly impressive. They took care of business against overmatched Buffalo, even if they failed to cover in a 35-16 win. More alarming was their slim 6-point win against Maine in game two-where Pittsburgh was favored by 30.
At the same time, it's not fair to stick a fork in the Panthers based solely on one quarter. Similar sentiment would have led one to pick Michigan State against Notre Dame, assuming they were reeling after being victimized by an improbable comeback. Notre Dame was able to use it as fuel, so why can't Pittsburgh? Well, Notre Dame was 0-2 and facing almost certain death to a season that once held promise. In addition, they have a cast of ultra-talented playmakers in Michael Floyd and Cierre Wood, among others, to fall back on. Pittsburgh is still 2-1 and frankly, they might not have the kind of scary-talented playmakers to bail them out.
Irish sophomore QB Tommy Rees, given the starting nod midway through game one, was efficient and composed against the Spartans. Running backs Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray helped carry the load, with WR Michael Floyd chipping in with 84 receiving yards. George Atkinson was a handful on returns. Big-play guys on defense began to make their presence felt, particularly top corner Robert Blanton. On Saturday afternoon, one could see that this was a team that has just started to get cooking.
Pittsburgh's 2nd-year starting QB Tino Sunseri has struggled a bit this season, throwing 4 picks against only 3 touchdowns, including an ill-timed interception against Iowa on a last-ditch drive. And while there is no one on this squad who appears to have the ability of standout Spartans WR BJ Cunningham, the fact that he caught 12 passes and the Spartans caught 34 total balls last week might give some hope to Sunseri and his pass catchers. If you take away that 4th quarter against Iowa, they looked pretty good on both sides of the ball. That is a big leap of faith to take, but the same reasoning worked for Notre Dame last week.
If Pitt RB Ray Graham can get going, it's not too difficult to imagine a home Panthers squad putting up some points. The Notre Dame defense has its flaws, but they are a hard-working group that became better as the game wore on against Michigan State. In addition, Rees and the offense hardly seemed flummoxed in the face of the frothing Wolverines home crowd, so they should be able to handle the rigors of this road test. WR Floyd seems to relish in silencing deafening road throngs and he should have a big game.
Scotty L's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is a tough game and even more so when dealing with a difficult spread such as this one. The Irish beat Pitt last year 23-17 and lost the two previous games to the Panthers. Now, we're asking them to cover a touchdown-and on the road, no less. That seems almost an invitation to take Pittsburgh.
Let's go with the feeling that Notre Dame is in a positive frame of mind, after emphatically snatching back some good momentum after it seemed to go decidedly sour. Losing as a double-digit favorite to South Florida and a cartoon-like last-minute collapse against Michigan had this team in the dumps. It says a lot about a team's talent, resolve, and overall character to come back from that and beat a 15th-ranked Spartans team by 18. Look for a close game to break open a bit in the 3rd and 4th quarters, as Notre Dame's big guns run loose a bit and put up a nice number. Take Notre Dame minus 7 points.
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Favorite of the Week Pick - Giving points means we start the game down. We're not a real big fan of betting college football favorites as it's similar to trading field goals for touchdowns but stick with us as we buck the odds each week, selecting the favored team with the best chance of covering the spread.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2014 College Football Predictions - Badger gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2015 National Championship game.
2014 Heisman Trophy Predictions - Jameis Winston is favored to win the award at 3-1 odds but Jay says this is a sucker bet! Marcus Mariota should be a contender and ball carriers TJ Yeldon and Melvin Gordon look good as well!
2015 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football handicapper Jay Horne gives his picks on who he thinks will win the 2015 National Championship. Despite not liking to side with heavy favorites, he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide are unstoppable and he has high expectations for them to cash his betting ticket at season's end!
Sportsbook - Get a free $100 bet after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
GTBets - Offers a HUGE 100% sign up bonus up to $500! Cool offer allows for you to pick 2 of your favorite college football teams and move the line a full point every time you bet those teams!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - This article is outdated and will be updated next year for the 2014 college football season.
Odds to Win the 2015 BCS Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +500 followed by Oregon at +800, Ohio St. +850, LSU/Texas A&M +1200 and Florida/FSU both at +1400. Check out your school's odds here!
Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.
Fantasy College Football - Draft a fresh team every week! Leagues range from $2 to $420! You can play head to head or in big groups! Payouts take place approx. one hour after the final Saturday game.
The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!