Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1 SU, 0-1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday, September 16th, 12:00pm
Where: Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, PA
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU -14 / PIT +14
It seems crazy that we are already entering the third week of college football here in 2017. There have been some upsets, some great games, and some teams that are playing just as expected. This weekend at noon, the 9th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys will travel east to take on the Pitt Panthers in Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Cowboys come in at 2-0 while Pitt enters at 1-1 after losing in week two to Penn State.
This line has shifted tremendously since opening on Monday morning. What started as Oklahoma State as a ten point favorite now has the Cowboys as a two touchdown fave over Pitt. Not only has the line moved due to the massive amount of action being placed on Oklahoma State, but there is still 67% of the action on the side of the Cowboys. Before we see this game start on Saturday, at this rate, the line could move as high as 15.5 or even higher. As for the total points, the combined total is set at 68. The betting public for this line is leaning for the contest to stay under this amount. 61% of the documented action thinks the game stays below the 68 total points.
Oklahoma State has yet to play a quality opponent, but regardless of that, they have handled their business unlike some other FBS teams that played games against lesser opponents. The Cowboys Tulsa 59-24 in week one, then just last week they took down South Alabama 44-7. After two weeks of play, Okie State has been a well balanced offense as many expected. Quarterback, Mason Rudolph has passed for 639 yards and six scores without throwing an interception. Along with his six touchdown passes, Rudolph has rushed for another two scores. As for the running game, the Cowboys are led by Justice Hill, JD King, and La’Darren Brown. All three have over 130 yards rushing each, and all three have a score. The Oklahoma State offense has been and will remain to be the life of this team, however,any chance of a Big 12 title will depend on the defensive side of the ball. Oklahoma State gave up 24 in week one and just 7 points in week two, again, this was against two programs that are not at the caliber of the teams the Cowboys will play the rest of the way.
Pitt comes in at 1-1 after losing to another top ten team in Penn State just last week. The Panthers have not looked very impressive in either of their first two games. They beat an FCS Youngstown State team just 28-21, then they were pretty much dominated by Penn State by a score of 33-14. This team just has not looked good on either side of the ball. On offense, quarterback Max Browne has been taking a lot of heat from the Panthers fan base. Browne in two games is completing 64% of his passes but that is largely due to the short dump downs which is why he is only averaging a little over 4 yards per pass. Not only has his yardage not looked good, Browne has only thrown for one touchdown and two interceptions. One bright spot for the Panthers offense has been the play of running back, Qadree Ollison. Through two games, Ollison has rushed 37 times for 187 yards (5.1 per carry) and two scores.
If the Pitt Panthers have any desire to slow down Oklahoma State and if they also have any plans to get on the right track before entering their ACC schedule, the key will be to play good defense but also take the pressure off the nearly non-existent passing game. Ollison will need to establish himself this weekend and shorten this game. If Pitt starts going three and out and letting the Cowboys offense gets rolling, it could be a very long day…very long.
Where I think Oklahoma State is heads and shoulders better than Pitt, something tells me this game may not be the blowout we all think. There is just so much public action on this one and I like to play contrarian in situations like this. Do I think Pitt wins? NOOOO. But I think somehow, someway this game stays a little closer than most think.
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