Last Updated: 2018-12-29
Our next college football play will be our College Football System Play of the Week and we’ll take a look at Monday’s game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Pittsburgh Panthers. Stanford opened as 6.5-point favorites and the line is down to Cardinal -5 with Stanford getting 55% of the wagers in the game, while the total has held steady at 52.
The Panthers are 7-6 on the season and just got waxed by Clemson in the conference championship game, although that’s really nothing to be ashamed of, as the Tigers have a habit of making teams look bad. But Pitt didn’t look too good in their 24-3 loss to the Miami Hurricanes the week before, either, although the Panthers didn’t need to win that one to advance to the conference championship game.
The Panthers do one thing well on offense and that’s run the ball. They don’t throw the ball very well and have to keep games close throughout. If they fall behind by more than two scores it’s pretty much lights out for the Pitt, as they average just 142 passing yards per game. But the Panthers actually complete a higher percentage of passes than their opponents allow, although for .2 fewer yards per attempt, so Pittsburgh may not be quite as bad throwing the ball as it may look on the surface.
The Panthers averaged 5.6 yards per carry against teams who allowed 4.5 yards and that includes games against Clemson and Notre Dame. The Cardinal did play Notre Dame, but lost to the Irish by 21 points. The Panthers lost to Notre Dame by five.
Stanford is 8-4 on the season, but this isn’t the Stanford team of the past, as the Cardinal rely on throwing the ball and aren’t a very good rushing team, while being slightly better than average at defending the run and pretty average against the pass.
From a motivational standpoint, how excited will the Cardinal be to return to El Paso for the second time in three years? Hard to see them being up for this one, while the Panthers are likely a bit more excited and also have a few situational factors in their favor, such as bowl teams who lost their last two games against the spread posting a 47-36-1 (56.6%) record in their bowl game and teams who lost their previous game by 30 or more points are 15-7 (68.8%) since 2013, which also applied to Auburn and Duke this year, who both won by more than four touchdowns.
Will go ahead and take the Panthers +5 in this one.
<< Previous PostNext Post >>