Free Week 1 Prediction: Wildcats vs Panthers Odds
Looking for Villanova Wildcats vs. Pittsburgh Panthers free picks? Week 1 College football betting sees the Wildcats taking on the Panthers Saturday September 3rd at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
0-0 (0-0 V) Villanova Wildcats vs Pittsburgh Panthers 0-0 (0-0 H)
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Time: 1:30 PM
Venue: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
NCAA Football Spread: Pitt -26.5
NCAA Betting Total: 48
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Opening weekend of College Football is here and we are opening up the season with a good ole FBS vs FCS in-state matchup.
Villanova is coming into the season ranked 23rd in the nation in the FCS and Pittsburgh comes in tapped at 3rd in the preseason rankings in the ACC Coastal division.
The two of these teams have only played 2 games in the history of the series, and Pittsburgh is currently ahead 2-0.
Nova will look to start of the season with a big time upset and Pittsburgh will look to entertain a home crowd and have a successful game with the highly anticipated return of James Conner.
The Villanova Wildcats return the starting backfield from last season coming off of their 6-5 record. Quarterback Zach Bendnarzyk is coming off a season where he started at quarterback and led the team in rushing overall.
Bendnarzyk threw for 1,396 yard and 10 touchdowns while running for another 515 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The Wildcats return running back Javon White who stood behind of Bendnarzyk with 395 yards and found the endzone 2 times throughout the season.
Overall, the Wildcats offense totaled 1,954 yards in the air and 2,044 yards on the ground.
Nova will come into the season and expect to move the ball against the Panthers.
The Wildcats defense was up and down for most of the season last year where they gave up and average of 18.36 points per game last season. In the 6 games that Villanova won, they held their opponents to single digit points 4 times including 1 shutout against Albany.
Villanova gave up more yardage through the air rather than on the ground where they had given up 1,885 yards in the air and gave up 1,515 on the ground.
The Wildcats defense will have their hands full with the returning offense that Pittsburgh brings.
The Pittsburgh Panthers offense brings a lot of firepower back in the 2016 football season, although they lost arguably their best receiver in school history Tyler Boyd. Nathan Peterman will be taking snaps for the second straight season.
Peterman tallied 2,287 yard and 20 touchdowns last season in an 8-5 season. The Panthers biggest strength is at the running back position.
James Conner missed last season with a torn ACL in week 1, but in 2014 he had 1,765 yard and 26 touchdowns while being noted at the ACC player of the year.
Filling in for Conner last season was Qadree Ollison who won the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year award after he ran 1,121 yards and put up 11 touchdowns.
The Panthers defense has not been as tough as they needed to be last season and that ran them into some trouble in dropping some games.
The defense got hurt in the air at times last season where they gave up 2,791 yards and 18 touchdowns while giving up 1,930 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground.
The Pittsburgh Panthers defense will look to shake out loose ends in this opening game against the FCS team.
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This opening game will be an experiment for the Pittsburgh Panthers offense. With the return of Conner and trying to have a 2 man attack in the backfield with Ollison.
With that being an option I don’t look for the Panthers ground game to be firing on all cylinders against Nova.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Nova ATS
I look for the score to go under in this one with the mediocre offense that Nova will bring and offense experiment that the Panthers will have. Pittsburgh will win this one very handily and they will keep Villanova’s score to a minimum.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Villanova 10 Pittsburgh 24
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