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(Don’t) Bet the Farm: Cardiac Hill’s Peach Bowl picks for Pitt vs. Michigan State

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt is set to face Michigan State at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Thursday night in the 54th edition of the Peach Bowl. The New Year’s Six bowl game will pit the No. 12 Panthers, who come into the matchup with an 11-2 record after their win in the ACC title game, against the No. 10 Spartans, who have played to a 10-2 record in 2021.

The Panthers will be missing three key contributors, as Kenny Pickett, Taysir Mack and Damarri Mathis all opted out of the game. Meanwhile, the Spartans will be missing Kenneth Walker III at running back as well as Michael Dowell at defensive back, as Walker opted out and Dowell entered the NCAA transfer portal in late November.

In addition to Walker and Dowell, Michigan State has a handful of players working through injuries who are questionable for Thursday’s game. However, the absence of Pitt’s star quarterback looms largest over this game, and as a result, Michigan State is considered a 3.5-point favorite to win by DraftKings. In addition, the over-under for the game has been lowered from an initial 63.5 points to 56 points.

If there is an opportunity for Pitt to win, it likely rests in the ability of Nick Patti and Jordan Addison to exploit a weak Michigan State secondary. Pitt will also need its stout defense to shut down what remains of the Michigan State rushing attack and limit the Spartans’ output in general. The majority of the Cardiac Hill staff believes that won't be a problem for Pitt, but the pick is not unanimous.

Last season, Anson and JD predicted nine of Pitt’s 11 games correctly, and they improved on their totals this year. However, Corey leads the Cardiac Hill staff with 12 correct predictions.

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