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Pittsburgh Panthers at Virginia Cavaliers - 10/4/14 CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction

Pittsburgh Panthers (3-2) at Virginia Cavaliers (3-2)

College Football: Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Scott Stadium)

The Line: Virginia Cavaliers -5 -- Over/Under: 46 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

The Pittsburgh Panthers and Virginia Cavaliers play Saturday at Scott Stadium.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are looking to shake last week’s loss to the Akron Zips, as they’ve now lost two straight. Offensively, Pittsburgh goes as far as freshman James Connor takes them, as he has 791 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Connor has rushed for no fewer than 153 yards in four of the five games and has scored in all of them but one. Quarterback Chad Voytik is completing 60.2 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and four interceptions, but he hasn’t been the playmaker the Panthers were hoping he’d be this season. Pittsburgh needs a more consistent quarterback and somebody who can give the ball more to Tyler Boyd, who leads the Panthers with 27 receptions and four touchdowns. While James Connor is a hell of a running back, Pittsburgh needs to find other weapons to really make this offense take off. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Panthers are allowing 18 points, 263.8 yards, and have forced eight turnovers and 12 sacks. Anthony Gonzalez leads Pitt with 31 tackles and Nicholas Grigsby has two forced fumbles.

Pittsburgh Panthers at Virginia Cavaliers - 10/4/14 CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers have been highly competitive this season and seem to be playing for head coach Mike London. Virginia has turned to the defensive side of the ball to win games this season, as it’s allowing 23.2 points, 334.8 yards, and has forced 18 turnovers and 18 sacks. The Virginia Cavaliers ball hawking defense has made things easy for the offense so far. Quin Blanding leads Virginia with 46 tackles and Eli Harold has 5.5 sacks. Offensively, Virginia continues to use a two-quarterback system but Greyson Lambert is questionable with a leg injury. Running back Kevin Parks is coming off a two-touchdown game and leads Virginia with 258 rushing yards on 75 carries. Canaan Severin has caught four or more passes in four of the first five games. Virginia doesn’t have the prettiest offense in the world but doesn’t need to with a defense that forces so many turnovers.

The Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 21-10-2 ATS in their last 33 games in October. The Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

You can’t discredit anything the Virginia Cavaliers have done this season, but I find it very difficult to turn down five points with the Pittsburgh Panthers team that has the better athletes and the best overall player. I expect Pitt to give James Connor the ball as many times at it takes and for the Panthers to leave with a win. However, I’ll take the points here just to be safe.

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Pittsburgh Panthers +5

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