West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Predictions, Picks, Odds

The West Virginia Mountaineers and Pittsburgh Panthers open their seasons at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN.

Updated on 04/22/2024
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The Backyard Brawl is BACK! If you're a college football fan, even if you don't have a dog in this fight, you'll certainly glad to see one of the best rivalries in college football renewed. This is the first time these schools, separated by 75 miles of Interstate 79, have met since Nov. 25, 2011. West Virginia has won each of the previous three meetings in the series, although Pitt leads the all-time series 61-40-3.

The heat on the seat of head coach Neal Brown might be getting turned up a bit in Morgantown, as he is just 17-18 in the past three seasons. West Virginia has just three returning starters on defense, so that's a concern heading into the new campaign. Defense was a reason for much of the team's success last season.

On the offensive side of the ball, college football veteran QB J.T. Daniels takes the reins of the offense. Daniels hopes the third time is a charm after previous uneventful stops at USC and Georgia. He completed 72.3% of his passes for 722 yards, 7 TD and 3 INT across five games for the defending national champion Bulldogs last season, but after suffering lat and oblique injuries, Stetson Bennett took over, and the rest is history.

The Panthers won the ACC last season, topping Wake Forest in the title game. The Panthers lost QB Kenny Pickett to the pros, and he is now cashing a paycheck at this very same stadium with the Steelers. QB Kedon Slovis transfers in from USC, and looks to start fresh after some ups and downs with the Trojans. Perhaps the bigger losses are WR Jordan Addison and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. We'll see how new OC Frank Cignetti Jr. plays it, but we could see more of a ground-and-pound attack from the Panthers, who have a solid stable of backs and all five starters from the O-line returning.

Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, West Virginia 20
Best Bet: West Virginia +7.5 (-110)
Best Bet: Under 51 (-110)


More Odds | Futures Odds | CFP Central


Date: Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022
Matchup: Big 12 vs. ACC
Venue: Acrisure Stadium
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Time-TV: ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET


It's a new era for the Mountaineers, as Daniels transfers in to lead the charge. West Virginia was decent in the pass game last season, going for 256.9 yards per game through the air. However, this team really struggled on the ground, and posted just 26.8 PPG to check in 78th in the nation. They'll need to be much better. Defensively, the Mountaineers allowed 24.3 PPG to check in 50th.

Unfortunately the WVU, the run game might actually take a slight step back, as leading rusher RB Leddie Brown is gone. The Mountaineers will lean upon RBs Lyn-J Dixon and Tony Mathis to pick up the offense and take Brown's place. Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell takes over, and he has familiarity with Daniels from 2019 when both were at USC. He played one game that season, was eventually injured, and he gave way to Slovis, who is now on the other sideline at Pitt.

West Virginia has covered 10 of its past 13 games in the month of September, but it is just 1-4 in the past five road games. WVU is also just 2-5 ATS in the past seven tries against ACC foes.

Pittsburgh looks to snap a three-game skid vs. West Virginia. (Getty Images)


The Panthers won the ACC crown for the first-time ever last season, and while there is some transition going on, as far as QB and OC, this team should be able to pick right back up where it left off without a lot of issue.

Slovis is a top-flight QB who should benefit from the clean slate in Pittsburgh. Pickett had a ton of success last season, and Slovis is just as capable. He also gets WR Konata Mumpfield transferring in from Akron, and he is a potential star. If he can emerge as a playmaker that will lessen the sting of losing Addison to USC. The defense for the Panthers is sick, and NFL prospect Calijah Kancey is one of seven starters returning.

Pitt has covered 11 of its past 15 games overall, and it usually shows out in non-conference tilts. In fact, the Panthers are 9-4 ATS in the past 13 non-conference games. Pittsburgh is also 3-1-1 ATS in the past five games played in the month of September.

In this series, the underdog has cashed in four of the previous five meetings, with the UNDER going 4-1 in the past five outings as well.


  • West Virginia is 1-4 ATS in the past five road games
  • West Virginia is 2-5 ATS in the past seven vs. ACC
  • West Virginia is 10-3 ATS in the past 13 games in September.
  • Pittsburgh is 9-4 ATS in the past 13 non-conference games.
  • Pittsburgh is 3-1-1 ATS in the five games in September.
  • UNDER is 4-1 in the past five games in September for West Virginia.
  • UNDER is 5-1-1 in the past seven vs. ACC for West Virginia.
  • OVER is 8-2 in the past 10 home games for Pittsburgh.
  • OVER is 6-1 in the past seven non-conference games for Pittsburgh.
  • UNDER is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
  • Underdog is 4-1 in the past five meetings.