Massachusetts at Pittsburgh - 9/4/21 College Football Picks and Prediction
Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Panthers (0-0) vs Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0)
Game Info: Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm (Heinz Field)
Betting Odds: Pittsburgh Panthers -36 -- Over/Under: 56.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The University of Massachusetts Minutemen will head on the road to face the Pittsburgh Panthers for week one of the NCAA college football season. This will be the first time these programs have faced off.
UMass will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2020. They only played four games, but they lost each game and at times looked like one of the worst in the FBS as they were outscored 161-12 in those contests. Colorado Transfer Tyler Lytle earned the starting spot for the Minutemen and will look to breath life into an offense that scored just one touchdown last season. The 6’ 5” senior has just 13 career attempts, totaling 68 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Defensively their pass-rush was a strength in 2020, but it did not matter as teams had no problems running the ball on them. There will be several new faces on both sides of the ball, so it may take time for them to find their identity.
The Panthers are coming off a promising 6-5 2020 season in which they just missed out on a bowl game. Returning will be senior quarterback Kenny Pickett for the fourth straight season. He took a step back in 2020, throwing for 2,408 yards with 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Top option Jordan Addison will be back as well; he caught 60 passes with 4 touchdowns the year prior. On defense they did a great job stuffing the run in 2020, allowing just 93.5 yards per game to the opposition. Most of the front seven has remained intact, so they expect similar results this season. If their young secondary can take a step forward this year, this defense has a chance to be one of the best in Big East.
UMass is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games, 1-9 on the money line, and the over is 6-4.
Pittsburgh is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games, 4-6 on the money line, and the over is 6-4.
The Minutemen did not do enough this offseason to prove they will make any progress as a program in 2021. They have brought in several players through the transfer portal, but players such as Lytle have struggled to get on the field before finding a home in UMass. The Panthers are in the opposite situation and have a senior quarterback poised to take advantage of a mismatch in game one of his final season in Pittsburgh. Look for the Panthers to cover the monster spread in what should be blowout.