Pittsburgh (7-6) is the underdog against Stanford (8-4) at the Sun Bowl on Monday (December 31, 2018, 14:00ET).
The betting line was first offered at -7.0 points for the Cardinal. Pitt’s notorious for upsetting higher-ranked opponents at the worst possible moment, so Stanford fans should be a little wary.
Pittsburgh’s annual Playoff Campaign Ruiner came in the third game of the season, when they beat Syracuse 44-37. The Panthers kept it close against Notre Dame, but weren’t able to complete the upset.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 60.1% of his passes this season for 1,833 yards and 12 touchdowns. Qadree Ollison gained 1,256 yards from scrimmage and rushed for 11 touchdowns, averaging a solid 6.3 yards per carry.
As a whole, the team gained 371.8 yards per game and scored 26.6 points per game. The defense allowed 402.3 yards and 28.8 points per game, while Rashad Weaver led the team with 6 sacks this season.
Stanford came within one play of beating Washington at Husky Stadium and within three points of beating Washington State. That’s all that separated the Cardinal from another Pac-12 North title, but that’s football.
The Cardinal offense features quarterback K.J. Costello, who passed for 3,435 yards and 29 TD’s this season. Costello completed 66.4% of his passes, which works out to a passer rating of 157.9. Bryce Love ran for 1,190 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Altogether, Stanford averaged 395.4 yards per game and 29.6 points. The defense allowed 415.6 yards and 23.8 points per game. Gabe Reid notched 6 sacks this season.
Sun Bowl Betting Advice
Neither of these teams is really exceptional on either side of the ball, so betting the game total is tough. The over is 5-8 in Pittsburgh games this season, which is enticing. The Stanford over is 7-5 this season. Betting the total(set at 52.0) could be the way to find value in this game.