It’s almost impossible to project rivalry games, especially ones as emotional as the Backyard Brawl, but to not surprise West Virginia has opened as a touchdown underdog to Pitt.
Week 0 is over, and Pitt-West Virginia is one of the headline matchups of the first true week of college football. It’s a primetime Thursday night matchup at Acrisure Stadium, and College GameDay will feature from Pittsburgh for an exclusive show.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel give Pitt favorable odds when it comes to Thursday’s season-opening contest.
DraftKings has set Pitt as 7.5-point favorites, with -105 betting odds against the spread. The total points spread is set at 51, with -110 odds either way, and Pitt holds -280 MoneyLine odds.
FanDuel isn’t too far off, with Pitt set as 7.5-point favorites — and +100 odds against the spread. The total points spread is set at 50.5 points, -110 odds either way, and Pitt holds -285 MoneyLine odds.
The spread is likely partly due to what happened last season. While WVU completed a 6-7 season in 2021, capped by an 18-6 loss to Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, Pitt is coming off the program’s best season in decades. The Panthers won the ACC championship and played in the Peach Bowl, a game they did lose but were without Heisman candidate Kenny Pickett. Neal Brown’s squad has rebounded from transfer portal losses with transfer portal additions.
WVU will face off against USC transfer quarterback Kedon Slovis.
It’s the revival of a rivalry game, and anything can happen. Pitt’s experience and returning production is a good sign.