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Pittsburgh West Virginia Betting – Panthers Flex Muscles In Morgantown

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 1:17:09 AM

Sports betting players will be treated to another tough Big East matchup on Monday night in Morgantown, where West Virginia hosts Pittsburgh in a meeting of bitter rivals. The Panthers are aiming to stay atop of the Big East, while the Mountaineers have fought their way into the race. We’re betting on Pitt’s inside-out game to pay off in a tight game.

  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Monday, February 7th, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV
  • Pick: Pitt Panthers

Why Bet On Pitt

The Panthers bounced back from their first Big East loss of the season against Notre Dame with a close win at Rutgers, and they have a tough home game against Cincinnati on Saturday heading into this game. Pitt is rolling through another consistent season under Jamie Dixon, and they’re versed in the fundamentals: the Panthers are second in the country in total rebounds and assists, and they’re 23rd in turnovers. They have experienced guards in junior Ashton Gibbs and senior Brad Wanamaker, while senior center Gary McGhee holds down the fort inside. The Panthers have some depth, with seven players averaging at least six points per game. Pitt is also an efficient team, shooting 47.7% from the floor, meaning they don’t waste many opportunities, which you can’t afford to do in the Big East. Defensively, the Panthers don’t take many chances, but they stay in front of you and they don’t allow many second chances on the glass.

A couple of negatives that could hurt the Panthers’ NCAA basketball betting odds, maybe not in this game but down the line, are that they don’t have that one player that can take over a game. For example, in years past, they could lean on DeJuan Blair or Sam Young, even Aaron Gray. Gibbs, Wanamaker and Gilbert Brown are all solid players, but there are no stars among the bunch. The Panthers are also a poor free-throw shooting team, knocking down 66.8% of their attempts from the charity stripe.

Why Bet On West Virginia

The Mountaineers could be ranked by the time they welcome their rivals to Morgantown as they had won two in a row before a visit to Villanova on Saturday. For that game, they should have leading scorer Casey Mitchell back in the lineup as he returns from suspension, but he could see his touches go down as the Mountaineers may be playing better without him. Junior forward Kevin Jones has stepped up, along with senior guard Joe Mazzulla, although junior counterpart “Truck” Bryant has been having trouble shooting the ball. West Virginia goes hard on the boards, and being coached by Bob Huggins, you know that the Mountaineers are going to be a hard-nosed defensive team (another facet that was improved with Mitchell on the sideline). Senior forward John Flowers is a shot-blocking presence inside despite not being that big, averaging 2.5 swats.

The Mountaineers have to worry about how the team will integrate Mitchell, a senior guard, back into the team. With Mitchell out, West Virginia lost a one-point game at Louisville, followed by wins at Cincinnati and against Seton Hall. The game on Saturday at Villanova will be a strong test, and then to turn around and host Pitt, Mitchell will have to earn his way back into Huggins’ good graces. West Virginia can’t afford to get behind because they’re not a good three-point shooting team, and they don’t force many turnovers.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Mountaineers will likely be the NCAA basketball betting favorites at home in the hoops edition of the “Backyard Brawl”, and it’s always an occasion when these rivals go at it in any sport. The two have split their last four meetings SU and ATS in Morgantown, and hopefully there will be no repeat of the scenes from last year’s 70-51 win by the Mountaineers, when Huggins had to address the crowd for throwing objects on the floor (one of which hit a Pitt assistant below the eye). This game will be hard enough on the court, and the matchup to watch will be in the backcourt, as Mazzulla, Bryant and Mitchell will have to slow down Gibbs, Wanamaker and Brown. It’ll be very interesting to see how Mitchell even fits back into the team, but the Mountaineers will need his scoring against the Panthers, who probably have the edge inside with McGhee and junior forward Nasir Robinson. This will be one of the most physical games you’ll watch all season, at least until the rematch at Pitt on February 24th. We’re going with the Panthers to win the first tilt in our online betting book.

Pitt West Virginia Betting Pick: Pitt Panthers



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