The Pittsburgh Panthers and Northwestern Wildcats will both look to get the feel-good season-ending victory when they square off in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The annual postseason matchup will get underway on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 2:00 PM ET, live from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York and will air live on ESPN.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl spread favors Pitt by a field-goal. Now, let’s find out which team is offering the most value in this contest.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Pittsburgh Panthers Vs Northwestern Wildcats Spread & ATS Pick
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Who: No. 23 Pittsburgh Panthers (8-4) vs Northwestern Wildcats (6-6)
When: Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Start Time: 2:00 PM ET
Where: New York, NY
Stadium: Yankee Stadium
Spread: Pittsburgh -3
Moneyline: Pittsburgh +180 at Northwestern -220
Game Total: 68
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Pittsburgh vs Northwestern
Why Bet The Pittsburgh Panthers To Beat The Wildcats
Pittsburgh won their final three games of the season and six of their last eight games overall and comes into this contest off an insanely high-scoring 76-61 win over Syracuse in their regular season finale as quarterback Nathan Peterman passed for 251 yards and four touchdowns while the Panthers racked up a jaw-dropping 393 rushing yards.
The Panthers average a stellar 42.3 points per game to rank 10th in scoring nationally as Peterman has passed for 2,602 yards with 26 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Beloved running back James Conner rushed for a team-high 1,060 yards and 16 scores after returning from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a year ago.
Wide receiver Jester Weah hauled in a team-high 34 catches for 795 yards and nine touchdowns. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s defense was almost nonexistent as they gave up an overly generous 35.5 points per game to rank an uninspiring 109th nationally in points allowed.
Why Bet The Northwestern Wildcats To Beat The Panthers
Northwestern won two of their finale three games including their 42-21 win over Illinois in their regular season finale as running back Justin Jackson rushed for 173 yards and three scores and backup John Moten added 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats put up a modest 25.5 points per game to rank a modest 91st in scoring nationally as quarterback Clayton Thorson passed for 2,968 yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Jackson rushed for a stellar 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season while wide receiver Austin Carr hauled in a whopping 84 passes for 1,196 yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern limited the opposition to 22.0 points per game to rank a solid 23rd in points allowed nationally.
Expert ATS Pick & Final Score Prediction
64 percent like Pittsburgh to win and cover the spread as a 3-point favorite and I agree, if only because Northwestern is so offensively challenged and Pittsburgh can score in bunches.
I know the Wildcats have an elite defense, but I just don’t see them being able to score enough points to keep up with the Panthers in this affair, even though Pittsburgh’s defense is pretty atrocious.
I know Northwestern is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games, but the Wildcats are also just 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games. While Pittsburgh has gone 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games, the Panthers are also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games in the month of December.
I like James Conner to lead the Panthers to the big win and narrow ATS cover.