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Pitt Panthers vs. Wichita St. Shockers Gambling Prediction & CBB Preview

Panthers vs Shockers West Region Spread/Handicapping

All of the advanced metrics say that this Pittsburgh team is really good. They aren’t horrible but I just don’t see it. What I do see is a team that is better than average in the deepest conference in America. They have a few nice wins but this is probably one of the least impressive Pitt teams of the past decade.

NCAA Tournament – West Bracket
#8 Pittsburgh Panthers vs #9 Wichita State Shockers
Thursday March 21
EnergySolutions Arena – Salt Lake City, Utah
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -205, Wichita State +175 at DSI
Spread: Pittsburgh -4.5
O/U: 119.5

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A team with their profile from another conference might not even be playing in the tournament.

The leading scorer for the Panthers is point guard Travon Woodall. He is a heady player but this fact demonstrates the weakness of this team. No one on this squad is a particularly good shooter which allows defenses to sag on their inside players. Power forward Talib Zanna’s numbers have continued to drop throughout the season and frosh phenom never really established himself.

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They are getting nothing from transfer Trey Ziegler who was supposed to be instant offense.

Pitt has been a bad bet as a favourite for the last few seasons going 32-41 against the number as a favourite the last three seasons. Just an indicator that what we think we are seeing on the court is true at the window too. This is the second game of the tournament and maybe our first upset – albeit slight.

I think the value is all on the Shockers. Especially if the number increases.

Wichita State

Wichita State was able to corral an at-large bid out of the Missouri Valley making their second straight tournament. They were right there with conference winner Creighton, who they beat at home when they were ranked 12th in the nation. This team is probably not as good as last year’s team, in fact it is markedly different with just two starters returning. [ad-6571516]

The Shockers can play at a variety of tempos and don’t mind being physical so they won’t get pushed around.

You have to root for a team whose top scorer is Cleananthony Early. Early is just one of three Shockers who score in double figures and with power forward Carl Hall forms a potent frontcourt duo. Getting production up front is going to be key. Don’t be fooled into thinking WSU is going to get pounded inside.

If they need to they can put bigs on the floor to bang. They aren’t of the most talented variety but this team won’t let itself get pushed around.

The Shockers are one of the better mid-major programs around but surprisingly have not fared well in underdog roles. Over the last 5 seasons they are just 8-24 as the underdog and a not much better 14-18 ATS.

This team is better than you think though and shouldn’t be taken lightly. they took down VCU as a large dog in the second game of the season.

Spread Pick: WIchita State +4.5
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Wichita State 64 – Pittsburgh 62


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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.