Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#189 Miami - FL 47.5 vs.
#190 Pittsburgh -4.5
Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
Heinz Field , Pittsburgh
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#189 University of Miami
#190 University of Pittsburgh
3-4
5-2
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5-1
4-3
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28
22
20
22

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: October 26, 2019, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA, 12:00 PM ET

After earning their fourth straight win over Syracuse, the Pittsburgh Panthers hope to continue rolling on Saturday when hosting the visiting Miami Hurricanes. The celebration from the Hurricanes’ upset win over Virginia didn’t last long, as they were quickly upended at home in an overtime loss last week to Georgia Tech. They’ll face an uphill battle when attempting to earn their second conference win of the season in a road trip to Heinz Field.

Miami takes a stunning loss

The Hurricanes’ loss to Georgia Tech last week played out like a movie, albeit they were on the wrong side of the happy ending. After having a chip shot field goal that would have iced the game blocked in the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes defense gave up the game-winning touchdown in overtime to sink them to a 3-4 losing record.

It was a game where they struggled to convert on third down, finishing 5-of-13 on the day in a 28-21 loss. That could be a problem for their offense in Saturday’s game against a battle-tested Pittsburgh defense. The Hurricanes are the worst team in the conference in converting third downs, making it incredibly difficult for them to sustain drives against good defenses. Miami quarterback N’Kosi Perry could be forced into throwing more than he wants with Pittsburgh boasting the best run defense in the conference. Teams are only averaging 90.4 rushing yards per game against them.

So starting tailback Deejay Dallas, assuming he plays, will be running into a brick wall in this match-up. Dallas traveled with the team, but he is still listed as questionable with a knee injury. Perry reportedly played through a separated shoulder against Georgia Tech, leaving his availability up in the air for Saturday.

Miami is no slouch in the defensive department, either, setting the stage for a potentially low-scoring affair. They have the No. 3 ranked ACC defense with only a 298.0 average yard allowance. They also have a knack for getting after the quarterback, which could mean trouble for Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.

Along with Perry, Miami quarterback Jarren Williams is also questionable for the game with an arm injury. If both players are downgraded by the weekend, it would leave the Panthers vulnerable at the most important position on the field.

Panthers eke past Syracuse

The Panthers took their foot off the gas in the second half of last week’s game against Syracuse. After scoring 24 points in the first half, they were held by Syracuse’s defense to only a field goal over the next two quarters of game regulation. So much has been said about the talent on defense for the Panthers, but they’ll be facing a Hurricanes unit that can match up on that side of the ball as well.

It also doesn’t help matters that the Panthers have struggled finishing drives. They are the second-worst team in the conference behind Georgia Tech in average points per game (22.3). Their defense has been able to hold up for the most part, but there is always the concern they’ll have an off night and the offense will fail to respond.

A big problem has been their inability to move the ball on the ground consistently, which often leaves more than desired on Pickett’s plate. Miami is barely allowing over 200 yards passing per game, and their run defense has been stout all season.

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It’s bad enough to have one quarterback playing through an injury, but the Hurricanes will have two ailing players at the position on Saturday. Perry has been dealing with a shoulder injury, and Williams has an arm issue. It was clear Perry wasn’t right in the game against Georgia Tech, and it’s unlikely he’ll suddenly be 100 percent against the Panthers.

Even if Perry and Williams plays, they’ll spend all night running for their lives behind their porous offensive line. If Sam Darnold was seeing ghosts in his Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, Perry and Williams will be seeing ghosts, goblins and ghouls when facing a Panthers defense that ranks first in the conference in sacks (36).

It’ll be convenient for their pass rushers to be in the trenches against an offensive line that has already allowed 31 sacks this season. Give me the Panthers in this ACC tilt.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Panthers (5.5)

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The Panthers are only scoring an average of 22.1 points per game, while the Hurricanes have averaged 28.3 points. That number for the Hurricanes will come down a bit with the Panthers’ defensive front pinning its ears and getting after the quarterback. It’ll be hard for them to get into any form of an offensive flow. While the Hurricanes’ offensive line continues its struggles, the defense will ultimately answer the call to keep this game low-scoring. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (43.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.