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NCAAF Free Pick: Louisville Cardinals at Pittsburgh Panthers

Prediction Machine NCAAF Free Pick: Louisville Cardinals at Pittsburgh Panthers

Louisville Cardinals at Pittsburgh Panthers (PIT -3, O/U 55)

An ACC battle will take place at Heinz Field on Saturday when Pittsburgh plays host to the Louisville Cardinals. Both teams enter ranked in the Top 25, with Louisville looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Miami (FL) and Pittsburgh hoping to remain unbeaten.

The Panthers have faced an FCS squad in Austin Peay and then ACC bottom-feeder Syracuse, so the matchup with Louisville will be the Panthers’ first true test of the season. They currently sit as modest 3-point favorites over the visiting Cardinals.

Prediction Machine’s college football model projects this one to finish close to the current spread, predicting a final outcome of 31.0-28.4 in favor of Pittsburgh. With no perceived edge against the spread, our free pick this week turns to the current 55-point total. With 59.4 projected points and a total of 55, we have a solid edge on the OVER in this matchup. Our model suggests a $106 wager on OVER 55 for an average $100 bettor.

Prediction Machine’s NCAAF picks went 322-275 ATS (53.9%) and 321-249 on O/Us (56.3%) in 2019, profiting +55.29 units, or $5,529 for an average $100 bettor. Head over to predictionmachine.com to sign up for a free trial and get access to every NCAAF projection.

Why will Louisville at Pittsburgh go OVER the total?

  • Pittsburgh’s offense should succeed against a Louisville squad that allowed nearly 450 yards per game in 2019 and was dead last in the ACC with 33.8 points allowed per game. They’re on track to allow similar production in 2020, coughing up 68 points in their first two games.
  • We’re expecting Louisville to succeed on offense as they enter the game leading the ACC in averaging over 500 yards of offense through two games. Pittsburgh’s defense has shown to be elite thus far with just 154 total yards allowed per game, and remarkably allowing just 52 rushing yards on 54 total carries. Obviously holding any football team to under one yard per carry is exceptional, but they accomplished these defensive marks against FCS opponent Austin Peay and a bad Syracuse team. Louisville has been dynamic in both the running and passing game, so we’re expecting the Panthers defense to come back down to earth in this one.
  • Louisville’s Malik Cunningham presents a dual-threat option at quarterback that Pittsburgh has not yet seen this season, while Kenny Pickett is in his fourth season as the signal-caller for the Panthers. The talent at quarterback on both sides should boost both offenses and create a more competitive atmosphere than Pittsburgh has experienced through two weeks.

Cardinals at Panthers: How to bet the spread

This matchup currently features a spread of 3 points in favor of Pittsburgh (PIT -3). Prediction Machine’s projected score is 31.0-28.4 in favor of the Panthers, giving us no edge on the current spread in this one.