Pittsburgh Panthers vs North Carolina Tar Heels: As I said in my Just Picks Newsletter, the Tar Heels actually look like the better team to me. I know the Panthers have a pretty damn good record, and they’ve played tight against some very good teams, but I’m afraid they might have out-produced themselves this season. It’s not like the ACC has shown it’s speed, toughness, and grit against other conferences this year – but this Tar Heel team can shut down most any rushing attack, and they put a lot of pressure on opposing offenses. The Pitt Panthers have one real strength, their rushing attack, and I forsee the Tar Heels doing a very good job of slowing that portion of the Panthers’ offense down.
69% of the public is against me in this one, and I understand why. The Panthers are 9-3 SU this season, 7-4 ATS – but they haven’t been awesome on the road, just 3-2 this season, and never really looking that good (besides @ Louisville, and lets be honest, that shouldn’t count). But Pitt has been tough, no doubt, they have yet to get beaten by more than 7 points, and lost their last two games by a total of 4 points, losing 44-45 against Cincinnati in the final game of their regular season.
But it’s that fall that has me worried. The Panthers went from a possible BCS bowl to a Meineke Car Care Bowl against an un-ranked ACC opponent – there may very well be a lull in their preparation for this game based on that alone. The Tar Heels have also played thier best football of the season in their last 5 games, beating Va Tech, Duke, Miami, and Boston College – before getting upset by a point against their in-state rival, NC State. I like them to win their 5th in 6 chances this Saturday.
Pittsburgh Panthers VS North Carolina Tar Heels (+3):