Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
The Pittsburgh Panthers aren’t known as road warriors, but they are 10-1-1 against the spread their last 12 times out on the road against teams with winning records.
Notre Dame qualifies as a team with a winning record, so who’s the smart bet for Saturday afternoon’s Panthers-Irish clash in South Bend?
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 21-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 32.6-21.9 Fighting Irish (College football picks on every game)
Why the Pittsburgh Panthers can cover the spread
Pitt just reached 3-3 on the season with a 44-37 overtime victory over Syracuse last week.
The Panthers spotted the Orange the first 14 points of the game but scored the next 20 to take the lead. They then pushed their advantage to 27-17 early in the third quarter, fell down by a touchdown early in the fourth but kicked a field goal at the buzzer to force OT.
Pitt then won it with a touchdown in the top of the overtime period and an interception in the end zone in the bottom.
On the day, the Panthers piled up 402 yards of offense—265 of it on the ground—and held a 32/28 edge in time of possession. They also got field goals of 54, 55 and 45 yards from kicker Alex Kessman, the last of which sent the game to OT.
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
Pittsburgh has now outrushed four of its six opponents this season.
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
The Irish are 6-0 on the season and sneaking up the rankings following their 45-23 victory at Virginia Tech last week.
Notre Dame drove the opening possession of the game 78 yards to a touchdown and led 17-16 at halftime. It then scored the first 21 points out of the locker room, on its way toward the win and the cover as a six-point road favorite.
On the night, the Irish accumulated 438 yards of offense, as quarterback Ian Book threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns while running back Dexter Williams ran for 178 and three scores, including a 97-yarder early in the third quarter that broke the game open.
Meanwhile, the Notre Dame defense scored on a fumble return and held the Hokies to one second-half score.
So the Irish are now 3-0 both SU and ATS with Book starting at quarterback, averaging 46 points per game.
Smart betting pick
Notre Dame is clicking with Book, and it will win this game outright.
Pitt, meanwhile, is 0-2 both SU and ATS this season against its two toughest opponents so far, losing to Penn State and Central Florida by a combined score of 96-20.
Despite the Panthers’ recent success on the road, smart money here gives the points with the Irish.
College football betting trends
Pittsburgh is 1-4 SU in its last five games vs Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games vs the ACC.
The total has gone under in four of Notre Dame’s last five games at home.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.