The teams haven’t even started their spring practices, but there’s already a starting point for the betting line on the 2019 Pitt-Penn State game.
According to Collin Wilson, a predictive analyst for Action Network and a contributor to The Athletic, Pitt should start out as a 7.5-point underdog when the Panthers visit Penn State at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 14.
Projected spreads via @_Collin1 for non-conference games:
LSU -8 at Texas
Clemson -20.5 A&M
UGA -10.5 ND
Michigan -28 Army
OhioSt -18 Cincinnati
PennSt -7.5 Pitt
OU -12 at UCLA
Stanford -3 at UCF
FSU -5.5 Boise
UF -8.5 Miami
Auburn -1.5 Oregon
WashSt -14 UH
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) February 20, 2019
The Panthers were seven-point underdogs in 2018, when Penn State took a 51-6 victory — and a resounding cover — home from Heinz Field.
In fact, the Nittany Lions have been the favorites in all three of the four versions of the modern rivalry and they are just 3-1 against the spread.
The Nittany Lions were 20-point favorites in 2017, but beat Pitt by just 19, 33-14, at Happy Valley. In 2016, Pitt was a 4.5-point favorite at Heinz Field and won by just a field goal, 42-39.
Typically, official early betting lines for college football games don’t come out until May.
Pitt will start spring practice the first week of March and will play its spring game on April 13.