Pittsburgh exemplified the oddity that was the ACC this year as they were once in a position to be the one seed. Now crashing down to fifth, they miss out on the double bye and get a matchup against Georgia Tech as a -7 favorite. The Yellow Jackets played a slugfest against the Seminoles to get to this round, now getting a rested Panthers squad. My prediction is that Pittsburgh cruises to victory as a moneyline favorite.
Georgia Tech Vs. Pittsburgh Prediction
The idea of a team needing to win multiple games in a row on no rest is always an intriguing aspect, but I don’t believe the Yellow Jackets have the juice to keep up with Pittsburgh’s scoring pace. Their initial game was not exactly a strong conviction for me to back them at a lofty number as they survived a thriller against Seminoles who is one of the worst teams in the conference.
They now have to go against a much better defense as Pitt ranks 107th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency in comparison to Florida State’s 245th ranking. I am hard pressed to see how Georgia Tech finds more consistent scoring success against Pittsburgh while also on sluggish legs. The issue I have in this one is that I am not exactly thrilled with Pittsburgh’s number, sitting in line with most projections like Kenpom.
To avoid a potential back door opportunity should Pitt call off the dogs late in this contest, I will back them by placing them in a two team moneyline parlay. This has been a popular method for me to use late in the season as teams started to get locked in their seeding or out of regular season title contention. I expect this to be a popular method for me to use once again in early conference title play as teams start to set their sights on March Madness and resting key players.
Pittsburgh may fall under that same theory as they drew the unfortunate extra round as the five seed and will have to go through a gauntlet to salvage their season. With little to no resistance by the Yellow Jackets offense to give them a scare, Pitt may play it conservative late. As for who I am going to combine them with? That much is undecided so far, but I do like the Ohio State Buckeyes and Seton Hall Pirates as potential suitors.
Georgia Tech Vs. Pittsburgh Prediction: Pitt moneyline parlay piece
Georgia Tech Vs. Pittsburgh Odds
As mentioned earlier, oddsmakers opened Pittsburgh as a -7 favorite, sitting between the key numbers of 6 and 8. In a stunning display, bettors are actually backing the Yellow Jackets on the opening number, taking them down to +6.5 in some shops. The movement is curious to me as Pittsburgh is comfortably better on both ends of the court while well rested. Lucky for us, we negate all of this noise by backing Pittsburgh on the moneyline in a two team parlay.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 143.5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either end, keeping the number the same since the opener. The under was intriguing at first as Georgia Tech showed little life on offense in their initial contest. The issue is that Pittsburgh’s motivation brings too much variance as previously mentioned. This does bring a potential live opportunity should Pitt get going early, taking a live under as both units slow down the pace.
Georgia Tech Vs. Pittsburgh Key Matchups
Pittsburgh shooting vs Georgia Tech defense
A brunt of the Panthers offense success has been their ability to knock down open jump shots. They are one of the better shooting units in the nation, possessing a Effective Field Goal Percentage of 53.1%. That number is good for 56th in the nation per TeamRankings.
Their ability to generate open looks is a major reason why I believe the Panthers will win in my Georgia Tech Vs. Pittsburgh prediction.
They burn you on multiple levels on the court, connecting at 36% from deep and 45.1% from the field. Their scoring is also spaced out by their two leading scorers as Blake Hinson is a forward while Jamarius Burton is a slashing guard. This versatility in scoring will keep the Yellow Jackets constantly reeling, especially if Hinson finds his rhythm form deep early and often.
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) February 26, 2023
With motivation being shadowed in mystery as Pitt needs to conserve their energy, bypass the spread by putting them in a two team moneyline parlay. Other potential options include Ohio State and Seton Hall.