Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:10 AM EST.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Monday, December 31st, 2018 – Sun Bowl – El Paso, TX
Stanford -4 -102 over Pittsburgh
2:00 PM EST. First off is that Pitt has to travel 1,818 miles to a game that is lackluster by contrast to an ACC Championship and in that game, the Panthers were blown up 42-10 and even failed to come in under the 27½-point spread. Meanwhile, Coach David Shaw took Stanford to the Sun Bowl in 2016 and likes the site as well as the organizers, and is happy to be here. Stanford has familiarity and a win in this bowl game.
Pitt and Stanford are one-trick pony offenses. The Panthers excel in rush efficiency and explosiveness, while the Cardinal implements a jump-ball passing attack that is impossible to defend without the right personnel and that is truly a key here. Pitt is 95th in defending explosiveness in passing downs, which could lead to plenty of scoring for Stanford. The Panthers one trick is rushing but Stanford has shut down plenty of good rushing attacks this season and that poses a big problem for the underdog. Two of Stanford’s four losses this season were settled by a combined touchdown at Washington and against Washington State. That is a two-time defending Pac-12 Champ and a team that spent a lot of time in the top-10 this season. David Shaw coached teams have won nine games or more in six of his seven seasons at helm of Stanford. In 2012, he led the Cardinal to an 8-5 season but that came on the heels of a Foster Farms Bowl win. This team has a pedigree and expects to adhere to a standard while Pitt was an embarrassing four TD underdog in the ACC Championship game and didn’t respond to it. We certainly have to question what that blowout loss did to the mindset of the Panthers, as they can’t be feeling too confident. The planets aligned right for Pitt to get to the Championship Game and now they are taking back 23 points less to a Stanford team that proved they can play with the best. What a bargain this one is.
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Stanford -4 -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)