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Pittsburgh Notre Dame – Big East Looks For Its Best Non-Conference Win Of The Year

Posted by Blake Frazier on 10/7/2010 4:07:31 PM
pittsburgh notre dame betting

The Big East Conference’s struggles have been well documented. The Pittsburgh Panthers will try to do something about them this weekend.

NCAA football betting: Pittsburgh Panthers @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Online Betting Odds: Notre Dame -5.5

Why To Bet On Pittsburgh

The Panthers – for all of their struggles – have still not played a single Big East game in 2010. Therefore, this game against Notre Dame Fightin Irish represents a launching pad of sorts for coach Dave Wannstedt’s team. Pittsburgh wants to use this moment in South Bend, Indiana, as a catapult toward the the Big East season and a run at a BCS bowl bid. The Panthers should have fresh motivation and energy for this contest, and that should in many ways help them against the Fighting Irish. Another important thing to realize is that while Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has outflanked and outmaneuvered Wannstedt over the past two seasons when his former team – Cincinnati Bearcats – went up against Pittsburgh in Big East play, Kelly lacks the dynamic trigger man and receiver who could do a maximum of damage to Pittsburgh’s defense. Last year at Cincinnati, Kelly had quarterback Tony Pike and receiver Mardy Gilyard, who torched Pittsburgh, 45-44, in the game that decided the 2009 Big East title. Notre Dame, in 2010, does not have players who can match the standards set by Pike and Gilyard. Kelly lacks the horses needed to max out against a very familiar opponent. If the good Pittsburgh team shows up, the team that was the consensus preseason pick to be the 2010 Big East champion, the Panthers will march into the shadows of the Golden Dome and score a victory this weekend.

Why To Bet On Notre Dame

After seeing Pitt lose the Utah Utes in week one, there was still no reason to panic for the Panthers; their season was still in its embryonic stages. Season openers are overcome each and every year by college football teams that manage to shake off the rust and perform once the end of September arrives.

The problem, then, with the Pittsburgh Panthers is that in week four against the Miami Hurricanes, the team actually regressed from its patchy week-one form. The Panthers served up a complete stink-bomb, losing 31-3 in a pitiful performance. Starting quarterback Tino Sunseri completed only eight passes and threw for only 61 yards on a night when Pitt gained just 232 yards. The Panthers turned the ball over three times, committed nine penalties, failed to get a first down in the first quarter, and went only 4-of-15 on third downs. The atrocious display confirmed fears that this team’s youth at quarterback – plus the burden of preseason expectations – have really weighed on this team. Notre Dame is not an exceptionally gifted football team this season, but Pittsburgh is clearly experiencing a far worse crisis of confidence. Moreover, Notre Dame’s victory over Boston College Eagles should have the Irish in a good frame of mind this week. Playing at home also doesn’t hurt Notre Dame’s chances in this game.

How The Game Will Play Out

It will be an ugly football game to watch, but Notre Dame should be able to minimize mistakes and allow a very shaky Pittsburgh team to once again implode. The Irish will thrive on defense and use a simplified game plan to pound out a 20-10 victory, or something in that range.

Pittsburgh Notre Dame Betting Pick: Notre Dame

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