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Peach Bowl odds shift in favor of Michigan State with Kenny Pickett out for Pitt

Pitt was the favorite after the matchup was announced, but with Kenny Pickett out, the odds now favor Michigan State

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Cincinnati v Georgia Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt opened as a slight favorite over Michigan State in the Peach Bowl after the matchup was announced, with DraftKings setting the Panthers as 3.5-point favorites over the Spartans. However, as Pickett’s status came into question, the line shifted. And on Friday, the day after Pickett and Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III announced they would forgo the Peach Bowl, DraftKings had Michigan State as a three-point favorite.

In addition, the DraftKings moneyline odds shifted from minus-115 for Pitt and minus-105 for Michigan State on Dec. 7 to plus-120 for Pitt and minus-140 for Michigan State on Friday. The over-under was also lowered from 63.5 points to 56.5 points, suggesting fans are in for a lower-scoring game than initially anticipated. The odds of the over are set at minus-110, while the odds of the under are now minus-110 with Pickett and Walker both out.

Nick Patti is most likely to line up under center for Pitt with Pickett out. The former three-star recruit has thrown for 458 yards and three touchdowns in his career, while completing 64.5 percent of his 62 pass attempts and throwing one interception. Patti has played in 11 games, usually in a limited capacity with the game already decided. But in his one full game against Delaware in 2019, Patti completed 23 of 37 pass attempts for 271 yards and two touchdowns, with one pick, and he led his team to a 17-14 win over the Blue Hens.

Michigan State may well prove to be a tougher hurdle to clear than Delaware, but perhaps not by all that much. Currently, the Spartans rank dead last in the FBS in pass defense, with their secondary conceding 337.7 yards per game to opposing passers. That should give Patti some room to work with, and he should get some support from Pitt’s stout run defense, which ranks sixth in the nation, with just 91.7 yards allowed to opposing rushers per game.

That could be a problem for Jordon Simmons, the Michigan State running back likely to start in Walker’s place. Simmons has played in 10 games but has only run 54 times for 255 yards and has yet to find the end zone. However, Simmons has managed 4.7 yards per carry, and with Payton Thorne still under center for the Spartans, oddsmakers believe the loss of Pickett could be enough to derail Pitt in a close game, despite some favorable matchups.

Disclaimer: Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.