Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Niagara Purple Eagles - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Niagara Purple Eagles (7-26) at Pittsburgh Panthers (26-10)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Petersen Events Center)
The Line: Pittsburgh Panthers -27 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Niagara Purple Eagles hope to open the 2014-15 with a huge upset of the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The Niagara Purple Eagles finished last season at the bottom of the MAAC with a 3-17 record as they struggled at both ends of the floor. Nowhere to go but up is probably what the average fan would think but the Purple Eagles suffered a huge loss when leading scorer Antoine Mason transferred out of the program. That's over 25 points that disappeared for a squad that was point starved with Michael Jordan taking another ten points with him. The Purple Eagles top returning scorers are Ramone Snowden and Wesley Myers who combined for around 15 points which leaves HC Chris Casey scrambling to find the right mix of players to be competitive but that's asking a lot with a young and inexperienced roster.
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The Pittsburgh Panthers first season in the ACC would have to be considered a success with an 11-7 conference mark and a 26 win campaign. The experts are not so confident the Panthers can duplicate that level of success with most having Pitt finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack of the 15 team conference. The reason is the Panthers lost the services of Lamar Patterson and his 17 points while Talib Zanna takes 13 points and over eight rebounds with him. James Robinson and Cameron Wright give the backcourt production and experience while Sheldon Jeter, Michael Young and Durand Johnson can provide enough punch in the frontcourt. The Panthers are always stout at the defensive end which might be the difference between exceeding expectations or not if the returning bodies can't replace the production of the departing stars.
Niagara are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Fri. games and for Pittsburgh the over is 11-3 in PITT last 14 home games while the Panthers are 17-35 ATS in their last 52 home games. There obviously not many trends to help us out. The Purple Eagles were awful last season but they were reasonably competitive although the team is rock bottom in returning talent. In my view the Panthers control every aspect of this game and they cover easily IF they choose so this isn't my type of game...