By Greg Dempson
The Panthers host the Demon Deacons at the Petersen Events Center with the tip time slated for 7:00 ET with the game being televised on ESPNU. Pittsburgh has lost three in a row with all three of those loses coming vs. teams ranked in the Top–15. They recently lost their last home contest to the Cavaliers before dropping two road games, at Miami, (Florida,) last Tuesday and vs. North Carolina this past Sunday losing to the Tar Heels, (85–64.)
In Sunday’s loss at North Carolina, the Panthers uncharacteristically turned the ball over 19 times while allowing them to shoot 59.3%. The Panthers did hold a 19–1 edge in offensive boards as well as 41–21 advantage in rebounding, stats don’t always tell the whole story!
Pittsburgh is tied for 41st in the latest NCAA RPI ratings with a 6–6 record vs. teams currently in the Top–100. The Panthers are 1–5 vs. teams in the Top–25 and 3–5 vs. foes in the Top–50. The Panthers have three home games remaining, tonight vs. Wake Forest before a Saturday road game at the Orange before returning for two home contests, vs. Louisville and Duke, so I do not anticipate Pittsburgh taking this game lightly.
In their last two home games when laying 10 or more points the Panthers have covered vs. Virginia Tech at –10, winning (90–71,) and against Boston College, (84–61,) laying 19 points.Wake Forest has lost 10 consecutive games straight up while going 1–4 ATS in their last five. The Demon Deacons are 1–8 vs. Top–25 teams as well as 1–10 vs. opponents ranked in the Top–50 and they haven’t been able to “wake” up on the road vs. ACC foes losing a school record 21 consecutive contests.
From Beyond the Arc
· From game 16 out, Wake Forest is 29–57 ATS and -33.70-units in road games vs. good ball handling teams that commit 14 or less turnovers per game since 1997.
· The Panthers are playing with revenge from last season’s loss at Wake, laying 1.5 points, (69–66.) In 2014, in a neutral site game, Pittsburgh defeated the Demon Deacons (84–55,) as 10 point favorites. The previous season Pittsburgh, laying 15 or 15.5 points, defeated Wake 80–65.
· Wake Forest is 3–12 ATS off a road loss the last two seasons.
· Pittsburgh is 9–1 ATS in their next game after making 53% or less of their free throws.
· The Demon Deacons are 67–106 ATS and -49.6-units in road games after a conference game.
· The Panthers are 9–1 ATS after a game where they failed to cover the spread this season.
· Wake Forest is 16–30 ATS in road games when off two straight losses against conference rivals since 1997.
· Demon Deacons head coach Manning is 03–13 ATS after playing 3 consecutive games as an underdog.
· From game 16 out, Panthers head coach Dixon is 20–09 ATS versus good foul drawing teams who attempt 25 or more free throws per game.
· Working with three separate programs I make this line favoring the home team by –13.5, –14 and –15.5 points.
Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh Pick
My Every Edge selection for this evening is on the Pittsburgh Panthers at –11 points.