Pittsburgh Panthers vs Miami Hurricanes – NCAAM December 16

Pittsburgh (4-1) at Miami (3-1)

Series

The Hurricanes lead the series 23-19 as they hold a 16-15 advantage dating back to the rivalry’s rebirth in the Big East Conference. Miami also is 14-7 vs. the Panthers at home. It’s the ACC opener for both teams. Last season, the Panthers took a 62-57 win in Pittsburgh when Xavier Johnson scored seven late points as Pitt closed on an 11-4 run to pull out the win.

Vs. The Spread

Pitt is 7-13 ATS in it’s last 20 games while going 1-8 SU in their last nine on the road. The Panthers are 2-9 SU in their last 11 contests at Miami. The total has gone UNDER in six of Miami’s last eight games and it has also been UNDER in six of the last seven Pittsburgh-Miami contests.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Pittsburgh -2 (-107) -132 O 135.5 (+110)
Miami +2 (-113) +112 U 135.5 (-130)

Last Time Out

The Panthers won their fourth in a row with a 67-50 decision over Gardner- Webb on Saturday. Justin Champagne won ACC Player of the Week honors with two 20/20 games in the win over the Bulldogs and a mid-week win at Northwestern. The Panthers led GWU, 14-0, with eight minutes left in the first half as the Bulldogs missed their first 18 shot attempts. Champagne had 24 points and 21 boards in the win.

The Hurricanes lost a 66-62 decision at home to Florida Gulf Coast as the Eagles made 13 triples while Miami suffered more injuries as Kameron McGusty and Rodney Miller left the game with leg injuries. Isaiah Wong scored 20 points and Nysier Brooks netted 13 points with 15 boards.

On the Prowl

Pittsburgh Panthers LogoThe Panthers’ three returning starters – Justin Champagnie, Xaveir Johnson, and Au’Diese Toney – combine for 52.6 points, 22.8 rebounds, and 11.0 assists per games. Their dynamics make them a Big Three of sorts for Coach Jeff Capel, who enters his third season as the head coach. Champagne (19.4 ppg, 13.0 rpg) is the only player in the ACC that is averaging a double-double as Pittsburgh is the only team in the league with three players in the top 15 leading scorers.

Capel put a premium on rebounding in the off-season and it has paid off on the offensive glass as the Panthers grab 16 offensive boards per game and sport a (+56) advantage in second chance points.

Storm Front

Miami Hurricanes LogoThe Hurricanes are once again a picture of the walking wounded as eight of Jim Larrañaga’s 12 scholarship players are limited with injuries. That showed in the loss to FGCU as the Eagles got loose on the perimeter to outscore Miami 39-9 from 3-point range. The Hurricanes will be without point guard Chris Lykes once again as he is out with an ankle injury. Miller is also listed as out while McGusty is doubtful.

Much of the pressure now falls on starters Harlond Beverly and Isaiah Wong in the backcourt and Nysier Brooks in the middle as the ‘Canes are going to have no room for foul trouble.

Winner: Pitt (-2) 67, Miami 63
Over-Under: Take UNDER 135.5

The Bets
Pittsburgh Panthers -2
-107
UNDER 135.5
-130
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.