Pitt is 4-1 and they will travel to Atlanta this week to play 2-4 Georgia Tech. Despite the record difference, the Panthers will go into this game as three point underdogs. Many of us expected this to be one of Pitt's most difficult games this season, and it very still very well could be. Although that initial thought was with the understanding Georgia Tech would be probably be ranked and leading the ACC Coastal right now, and that simply has not been the case. The Yellow Jackets have been one of the more disappointing teams in the entire country to date, while Pitt has been a pleasant surprise.
I get the spread in this game, I really do. Georgia Tech pounded Pitt last year, and I mean they really pounded them. The Yellow Jackets posted 465 yards on the ground and effectively won the game in the first quarter. It's still the same teams and the venue shifts to Atlanta, and now the major difference is the Pitt coaching staff. Are these guys for real, or is Pitt just playing above their means through five games? I guess we will find out this Saturday.
You have Georgia Tech's 65th ranked overall offense against Pitt's 9th rated defense. It's a matchup you would think should favor Pitt, but we all know what happened last season. Throw in the fact Nicholas Grigsby and Bam Bradley might not be 100% this week, and it could spell trouble for the Pitt defense. On the other hand, Pitt's offense has been inconsistent in it's own right this season. Last week was fairly solid, but they managed to leave a lot of points on the field with a combination of penalties, dropped passes, and turnovers.
I would say the two teams are pretty even, and the three point spread suggests that. Pitt has looked better overall, but Georgia Tech has played a tougher schedule in recent weeks. I think it helps Pitt that the game is during the day, and their crowd might be less inspired. It also concerns me that Georgia Tech is a good football team, and typically good football team don't lose five games in a row.
So from a betting perspective, I think you could comfortably justify taking either team on Saturday. If Pitt comes out with their defense firing on all cylinders, and the offense makes enough plays - they could win by a touchdown. Georgia Tech could also duplicate their performance from last season and take it to Pitt. After all, the Yellow Jackets were a top 20 team to start the year, that talent is around there somewhere.