Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#693 West Virginia -1.5 vs.
#694 Pittsburgh 145
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#693 West Virginia University
#694 University of Pittsburgh
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The West Virginia Mountaineers will travel to Pittsburgh to clash with the Panthers in a non-conference battle Friday night from the Petersen Events Center. The Mountaineers recorded a 15-21 mark in regular-season play last season and defeated Akron 94-84 in their lone game. The Panthers compiled a 14-19 record last season, and are coming off a 71-57 road win against Robert Morris. West Virginia tallied a 69-59 home win against Pittsburgh last season.

West Virginia Scores 94 Points in Lone Game of Season

The West Virginia Mountaineers are primed for a rebound after a rough 2018-2019 season. They started their season with a 94-84 home win against Akron in a clash that had WVU favored by 12 points. They return several players from last year’s roster that should post better numbers. The Mountaineers lost their top two scorers while returning Derek Culver. The sophomore forward is a great defensive player who averaged 11.5 points and led the team with 9.9 rebounds per game last season. Culver will log big minutes and he scored 16 points in the season opener.

Jermaine Haley is also expected to contribute in a big way. The senior guard logged an average of 7.1 points on an outstanding 51% clip from the field. Jordan McCabe will also be a starter after averaging 5.8 PPG in 2018-2019. Head coach Bob Huggins reeled in five-star recruit Oscar Tshiebwe. The 6-foot-9 center tallied five points in limited action in his debut against Akron.

The Mountaineers are expected to improve this season and they were selected to finish in 5th place in the Big 12 preseason poll. They are placed at 56th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings. West Virginia averaged 73.8 points last year, ranking them 135th overall. They struggled defensively last season as they conceding an average of 77.4 points, pegging them down at 313th in the country.

Pittsburgh Rebounds from Upset Loss with Easy Road Win

The Pittsburgh Panthers should be an improved team this season. The Panthers opened their season with a promising win against Florida State. They were then upset in a 75-70 loss Nicholls State and countered with a dominating 71-57 road win against Robert Morris on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh returns three of their top four scorers from last season on a team that won three conference games.

Xavier Johnson is in for a big year after leading the Panthers with 15.5 PPG. The sophomore guard scored 13 points in the Panthers’ season-opening win against Florida State. Johnson is averaging 10 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Trey McGowens is also expected to be a key contributor this season. The sophomore guard posted an outstanding 25 point performance on 8 for 13 shooting in Tuesday’s victory. McGowens has reached double-digits in points in all three games, and he is logging an average of 15 points on 48% shooting.

The Panthers are positioned at 71st overall in Ken Pomeroy's rankings and were projected to finish in 10th place in the deep 15-team ACC in the preseason poll. Pittsburgh should improve offensively after only averaging 69.9 points last year. They have averaged 68 points in their first three games, ranking them 255th overall. The Panthers are playing solid defense and have held opponents to 64.3 points, good for 123rd in the country.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am selecting Pittsburgh in this clash. Pittsburgh has posted a promising start to the season and they are an improved squad. The Panthers defeated a good Florida State team in their season opener, and have won two of their first three games. Pittsburgh returns three of last year’s top four scorers, and they are playing excellent defense right now.

Furthermore, West Virginia has only played in one game this season, while the Panthers have played three, so Pittsburgh is already in a groove.  The Mountaineers surrendered 84 points to Akron of the MAC in their lone game which is not an encouraging sign up against Pittsburgh.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Panthers

Full-Game Total Pick

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The over is a solid option in this one. West Virginia played at a quick place in their lone game which is part of the reason Akron was able to score 84 points against them. The Mountaineers have plenty of talent that should have a solid night in the offensive end, plus the over is 5-1 in their last six road games.

In addition, the Panthers aren’t playing at a high pace early this year, but they can definitely match the Mountaineers if this game turns into a shootout. The Panthers have three players averaging at least 9.7 points on the season.  Also, the over is 5-0 in the Panthers’ last five games following a straight-up win.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Pittsburgh team total available on PointsBet is worth a look. The Panthers have depth and they are playing well. Ryan Murphy is averaging 17 points on 50% shooting through three games and Trey McGowens with 15 PPG on a solid 48% clip from the field. They also have the talented Xavier Johnson who averaged 15.5 points last season, and I expect this trio to do big damage in this one.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Team Total Over

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am taking the under on the first half total. West Virginia limited Akron to 33 points in the first half in their lone game. The Panthers haven’t been productive in the opening half where they are only averaging 27.7 points. Pittsburgh has been much better in the second half where they have averaged 40.3 points.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.