The Panthers are still long shots to win the national championship at 40-1 in college football betting but they are expected to win the Big East.
College football bet odds heavily favor the Panthers in the Big East. They are coming off a 10 win season and return 12 starters from last year. Big East media members seem to agree with the odds as the Panthers received 22 of 24 first place votes in the preseason poll. Cincinnati and West Virginia tied for second place in the Big East poll.
The Panthers return Dion Lewis and Jonathan Baldwin but they will have a new starting quarterback in Tino Sunseri and they are still coached by Dave Wannstedt so nothing is certain with the Panthers in terms of winning games. What helps Pittsburgh this season is that the Big East looks weak. Cincinnati loses head Coach Brian Kelly while West Virginia doesn’t seem to be a title contender. It should be noted though that Pittsburgh has never won the Big East under Wannstedt.
Pittsburgh received 190 points in the preseason media poll while Cincinnati and West Virginia got 142 points. Connecticut got 131 points for fourth place. Rutgers was a distant fifth in the voting followed by South Florida, Syracuse and Louisville.
Taking Pittsburgh may not be the best option since the Panthers are likely to be favored most of the time. Big East favorites have not done well the past three years. Connecticut doesn’t get much respect but they were 10-2 last season against the spread. They could present a challenge to the Panthers this season. Pittsburgh went 8-4 against the spread last season. Dion Lewis was the main reason they did well as he had 1,799 yards and 17 touchdowns. Those numbers might drop this season with defenses focused on him and with three starters from the offensive line gone.
Pittsburgh may be the college football betting favorite in the Big East but it is very possible they will head into conference play this season with a losing record. They open up at Utah which could be a loss and they face Miami of Florida and Notre Dame. They should win games against New Hampshire and Florida International but they easily could be 2-3 heading into their conference opener at Syracuse.