The numbers tell the story. The Pitt Panthers have had 11 straight seasons with at least five losses.
And head coach Pat Narduzzi, who is entering his seventh season with the team, has never finished in the top 25. He’s never reached double digit wins either.
So Pitt football has been shackled with disappointment for more than a decade. Fans are desperate for the team to break through, but you can’t blame them for being skeptical either.
So as another season approaches, the outlook is incredibly similar to years past. Certainly, the optimist can make a case for improvement. And hope. But the pessimist need only point to the recent past.
In this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks’ Pick Play, we’ll cover the odds for Pitt Football and analyze some of the wagers available at the best PA sportsbooks.
2021 Pitt Panthers Week 1 Odds
Pitt opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 4th with a home game against lowly Massachusetts at 4 p.m.
The Minutemen played a shortened season last year due to the COVID pandemic and finished 0-4. They were outscored 161-16.
Pitt, meanwhile, finished last season 6-5, with a 5-5 record in the ACC.
The Panthers return quarterback Kenny Pickett, who is back for his fifth season, and a number of key players from a defense that ranked second nationally in sacks and tackles for loss, and was 20th in yards allowed. Running backs Vincent Davis and A.J. Davis Jr. also return for the Panthers.
Pitt Panthers 2021 Week 2 Odds
In Week 2, Pitt faces SEC opponent Tennessee. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sat. Sept. 11th. in what figures to be an intriguing game. Currently, ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gives Tennessee a 51.9% chance to win the game. Pitt has a 48.1% chance.
Odds for the game should be available at Pennsylvania’s sports betting apps soon.
College Football Week 1 Lines
The college football season starts in just three weeks. Games begin on Saturday, Aug. 28. Here’s a quick snapshot of some early-season games, with odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Saturday, August 28:
- Nebraska (-7) at Illinois
- Hawaii (+16.5) at UCLA
- Temple (+13.5) at Rutgers
Thursday, September 2:
- Boise State (+4) at UCF
- Ohio State (-13.5) at Minnesota
Friday, September 3:
- North Carolina (-5.5) at Virginia Tech
- Michigan State (+4.5) at Northwestern
The full slate of games starts on Saturday, September 4 with most conferences and teams in action then. Lines for many of the games are already available at Pennsylvania sportsbooks.
Pittsburgh Panthers Season Win Totals
Oddsmakers expect the Pitt Panthers to improve slightly on last season’s win total. DraftKings Sportsbook has set the over/under for Pitt’s regular season wins at 7.5. The over is priced at -125. Meanwhile, the under is listed at +105.
FanDuel and BetRivers Sportsbook have the number at 7, which illustrates the importance of comparison shopping for your wagers. Here are the numbers for those betting apps.
- FanDuel: Over 7 (-120); Under 7 (+100)
- BetRivers: Over 7 (-130); Under 7 (+110)
Pitt Panthers National Championship Odds
Even the most strident fans don’t expect Pitt to capture college football’s national championship. The odds at Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks certainly reflect that reality.
However, for those bold enough to make a wager, the returns are remarkable. BetRivers has the Pitt Panthers at +50000 in National Championship futures. DraftKings (+15000) and FanDuel (+6500) have the number significantly lower.
Pittsburgh Panthers ACC Championship Odds
While a national championship seems like the longest of shots, Pitt’s odds for an ACC title are slightly more attainable. Clemson has won six straight conference titles and is the favorite once again.
Pitt is in the lower half of ACC futures, with varied pricing at Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks. Here is the complete list of ACC futures at DraftKings, as of Aug. 6:
- Clemson: -750
- North Carolina: +800
- Miami (FL): +900
- Virginia Tech: +3000
- Louisville: +3500
- NC State: +4000
- Wake Forest: +4500
- Pittsburgh: +4500
- Boston College: +5000
- Florida State: +5000
- Virginia: +5500
- Georgia Tech: +10000
- Syracuse: +15000
- Duke: +20000
FanDuel Sportsbook has Pitt’s ACC futures priced at +6000. BetRivers has the Panthers at +5000.
Kenny Pickett Heisman Trophy Odds
Pitt’s Heisman Trophy futures also carry long odds. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have quarterback Kenny Pickett priced at +10000 to win the award.
Pickett threw for 2,408 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in in games last season, while rushing for 8 touchdowns as well.
Pitts Schedule and Betting Lines
Betting lines for Pitt’s games beyond Week 1 will be available at a later date. In the meantime, here is the Panthers complete schedule to help you with your win total wagers.
- 9/4: vs. Masschusetts, 4 p.m.
- 9/11: at Tennessee, 12 p.m.
- 9/18: vs. Western Michigan, 12 p.m.
- 9/25: vs. New Hampshire, TBD
- 10/2: at Georgia Tech, TBD
- 10/16: at Virginia Tech, TBD
- 10/23: vs. Clemson, TBD
- 10/30: vs. Miami, TBD
- 11/6: at Duke, TBD
- 11/11: vs. North Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
- 11/20: vs. Virginia, TBD
- 11/27: at Syracuse, TBD
Mixed expectations for Pitt football 2021 season
Another Pitt football season begins in just a few weeks. And just like in previous years, expectations are mixed.
Optimists can point to an experienced quarterback and a stout defense.
Pessimists will point to the recent past.
And to improve, the Panthers will have to break away from it.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic