- Pittsburgh faces West Virginia in the 106th edition of the Backyard Brawl
- The Mountaineers are now favored by three points after some notable line movement
- Read below Pitt vs WVU odds and predictions for Saturday’s Backyard Brawl
The 106th edition of the “Backyard Brawl featuring Pitt (1-1) vs West Virginia takes (1-1) place in College Football Week 3 on Saturday, Sep. 16. Although both teams are unranked, this could be one of the more enticing games on one of the weaker Saturday CFB slates of the season.
West Virginia opened as the betting underdog in this rivalry game, but the latest Pitt vs WVU odds show that the Mountaineers are now three-point favorites over the Panthers. The game total is set at 48, with oddsmakers not projecting too many offensive fireworks at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Let’s analyze the Pitt vs West Virginia odds and offer our prediction for the Backyard Brawl.
Pitt vs West Virginia Odds
|Pittsburgh||+3 (-115)||+124||Over 48 (-110)|
|West Virginia||-3 (-105)||-148||Under 48 (-110)|
In the Pitt vs WVU odds, the Mountaineers are -148 moneyline favorites, giving them a 60% implied win probability. The Panthers come back as +124 underdogs, giving them 44.6% implied win probability.
The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia, and will be broadcast on ABC.
Odds as of September 14, 2023, at BetMGM Sportsbook. Claim the BetMGM promo code to bet on the Backyard Brawl and other Week 3 college football games.
Notable Line Movement in Pitt-WVU
Although we offered Pittsburgh at -1 in our Week 3 college football picks against the spread, the betting line has actually moved significantly in favor of West Virginia. The Mountaineers are now listed as 3-point favorites after opening as underdogs.
It’s hard to know what exactly caused the line movement, as the college football public betting trends indicate that big-money bettors are backing the Panthers. WVU is receiving 64% of total wagers, but they are only getting 55% of the actual handle.
One thing West Virginia does have going for it is a more impressive performance in their most recent game. WVU concluded Week 2 with a dominant 56-17 win over Duquesne, where Hudson Clement had 177 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in his college debut.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, started their 2023 season with a convincing 45-7 victory over Wofford but came back to earth in their second game, losing 27-21 to the Cincinnati Bearcats. The team was booed by their fans as they managed under 300 yards of total offense.
Of course, this game is also being played in Morgantown, where the Mountaineers will hold a notable home-field advantage. The Panthers, however, have been one of the best road teams in CFB over the past two seasons when it comes to covering the spread.
Pitt vs WVU Betting Trends & History
This is only the second meeting between the Panthers and Mountaineers this decade, with the “Backyard Brawl” finally being renewed in 2022 after high demand. The Panthers won the game 38-31 in Week 1 last season, relying heavily on their passing game led by Kedon Slovis.
Taking a look at recent betting trends for both programs, the Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games and an impressive 9-2 against the spread in their past 11 road games. WVU doesn’t have any notable home ATS trends, but they are 4-1 ATS in their last five matchups against ACC opponents.
If you’re looking to bet the game total, you’ll want to note that the total has gone UNDER in four of West Virginia’s last six games against Pittsburgh. This contradicts the trend that the OVER has cashed in Pitt’s last six games and in six of WVU’s last seven home games.
Pitt vs West Virginia Prediction
Pittsburgh has a more balanced offense and a team that doesn’t turn the ball over as much as West Virginia. The Mountaineers are heavily dependent on their rushing game, averaging 225 yards on the ground through their first two contests, which has led to two fumbles.
WVU is breaking in first-year-starter Garret Greeneat QB, while Pittsburgh features a senior quarterback in Phil Jurkovec. Neither one has been overly impressive thus far, but Jurkovec has experience playing in big-time games due to his time spent at Boston College and Notre Dame.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 5, 2022
There is internal turmoil in West Virginia’s program, with many questioning the abilities of their head coach, Neil Brown. There’s talk that a loss to Pittsburgh in Week 3 could seal the coach’s fate. Could that lead the Mountaineers to turn in an inspired performance for their respected coach?
West Virginia will rely on their run game and solid O-line Saturday, but we believe the Panthers have the defense to keep them in check. Pat Narduzzi’s team once again has a top-five rush defense in the ACC after allowing under 100 yards per game on the ground just a season ago.
Although the line movement indicates there may be respected bettors on the other side, we’re sticking with the Panthers in our Pitt vs WVU prediction. The overreaction to the Cincinnati loss is masking the fact this is still a really solid defensive team with a QB who can sling it.
- Pick: Pitt +3 (110)