Upcoming Match-ups

Pitt vs West Virginia Picks, Predictions & Odds (Dec. 6)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Dec 6, 2023 · 8:13 AM PST

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Ishmael Leggett dribbles the ball around a defender
Nov 28, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Ishmael Leggett (5) dribbles the ball against Missouri Tigers forward Noah Carter (35) during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. The Tigers won 71-64. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
  • The basketball version of the Backyard Brawl takes place Wednesday night in Morgantown
  • The Mountaineers are off to a rocky start in Josh Eilert’s first season replacing legend Bob Huggins
  • See the Pitt vs West Virginia odds and picks for Dec. 6

One of the best interstate rivalries in the nation resumes on Wednesday night as the Pitt Panthers (5-3, 0-0 away, 5-2-1 ATS) head to Morgantown to face the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-4, 3-2 home, 2-5 ATS) at WVU Coliseum at 9:00 pm ET.

West Virginia has won six straight in the head-to-head series, but that counts for naught in the eyes of oddsmakers. Pitt is listed as a 3.5-point favorite in what’s historically been one of the toughest road environments in the country.

Pitt vs West Virginia Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Pitt Panthers -3.5 (-110) -168 O  138.5 (-115)
West Virginia Mountaineers +3.5 (-110) +140 U 138.5 (-105)

Just 3-2 at home so far this season, WVU is a +140 underdog on the moneyline in Wednesday’s NCAA basketball odds. The total is just 138.5

 

Odds as of Dec. 7 on the BetMGM app. New users can claim a bonus code for BetMGM to wager on Pitt vs WVU. 

Neither team is considered a credible threat in the March Madness odds or Final Four odds, but Pitt is an outside contender in the odds to win the ACC at +3500 (9th-best odds in the 14-team league). West Virginia, on the other hand, is third-last in the latest odds to win the revamped Big 12 at +5000, only ahead of OK State (+7000) and UCF (+20000).

Pitt Beating up on Bad Teams

The Panthers’ first eight games of the season have featured five wins over teams rated 192nd or worse at KenPom, and three losses to teams rated 81st or higher: #81 Missouri (71-64 home), #33 Florida (86-71 neutral), and #26 Clemson (79-70 home).

Coming off an NCAA Tournament berth last year, expectations were fairly high for Jeff Capel’s team, despite ample turnover. Leading scorer Blake Hinson (20.5 PPG) is back for his senior season, supplemented by impact transfer Ishmael Leggett (15.1 PPG), formerly of Rhode Island, and freshman Carlton Carrington (14.6 PPG), though none of the team’s other top-six scorers from last season returned.

YouTube video

First-year coach Josh Eilert will be hoping for major strides from 6’11 sophomore center Federiko Federiko, but so far the big Finn is averaging just 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in just 23.4 minutes. His 2.9 fouls per game is up slightly from last season (2.6) and is a big part of why his minutes aren’t rising in his second season.

Pitt’s main strength, as a team, is its rebounding. The Panthers are 23rd out of 362 DI teams in offensive rebounding percentage (37.1%) and fifth on the defensive end (21.2%). Capel’s ability to replace Federiko with seven-foot Spaniard Guillermo Diaz Graham (6.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG in just 16.3 minutes) give Pitt a major size advantage on most nights.

West Virginia Struggling in Eilert’s First Season

A combination of graduations and transfers saw the Moutnaineers lose each of its top-six scorers from last season, when they went 19-15 and earned a #9 seed in the NCAA Tournament. First-year coach Eilert turned to the transfer market to try to replace some of that production, bringing in forward Quinn Slazinski (16.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG) from Iona and center Jesse Edwards (15.7 PPG, 10.0 RPG) from Syracuse.

While those two are leading the team in scoring and rebounding, WVU’s subpar guard play is a major problem. The team is turning the ball over on 18.5% of offensive possessions, which puts them 216th in the country.

Turnovers weren’t the problem when WVU suffered its worst loss in recent history, falling 73-65 at home to Monmouth as 14.5-point favorites. That night, ice-cold shooting did in the Mountaineers, who shot just 31.3% from the floor and 21.9% from three while allowing the smaller Hawks to play them even on the glass (34 rebounds apiece).

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WVU’s three wins this season came over 118th-rated Missouri State (67-59 home), 201st-rated Jacksonville State (70-57 home), and 232nd-rated Bellarmine (62-58 home).

In addition to the setback to Monmouth, they’ve also lost to #78 SMU (70-58 neutral), #23 Virginia (56-54 neutral), and #62 St. John’s (79-73 home).

Pitt vs West Virginia Prediction

West Virginia isn’t bad on the glass (87th in offensive rebounding percentage and 107th on defense), but Pitt is an absolute monster. If the Mountaineers aren’t getting second looks, which is likely, they are going to struggle to score. They are currently 266th in the nation in three-point percentage (30.4%) and an abysmal 343rd in two-point percentage (42.6%).

The Panthers are 145th in 3P% (33.6%) and 87th in 2P% (53.3%) while playing tougher schedule.

Look for Pitt to break its six-game losing streak in this lopsided rivalry tonight.

Pitt vs WVU pick: Pitt -3.5 (-110)

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record:

  • ATS: 7-8 (-1.63 units)
  •  Player props: 1-0 (+0.87 units)

All wagers one unit unless expressly stated otherwise. 

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