Louisville vs. Pittsburgh Week 4 Preview
Pittsburgh (-150) is favored by 3 points over Louisville (+130) with the over/under set at 55.5 total points
- A pair of top-25 ACC teams face off this week as the No. 21 Pittsburgh Panthers host the No. 24 Louisville Cardinals.
- Pittsburgh defeated Syracuse 21-10 last week while Louisville lost 34-47 to Miami.
- Pittsburgh (-150) is 3-point favorites over Louisville (+130) with the over/under set at 55.5 total points. CLICK HERE FOR LIVE GAME ODDS!
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Thriving Pitt Defense
The Pittsburgh Panthers had to win a little ugly last week, but they did earn a 21-10 over rival Syracuse at home despite falling well short of covering the 21-point spread. After blowing out Austin Peay in the season-opener, Pat Narduzzi’s team is 2-0 on the season and has a chance to work their way into the conversation for the second-best team in the ACC behind Clemson.
The Pittsburgh offense was far from explosive against the Orange defense last week. The Panthers averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry on the ground, putting everything on the shoulders of senior quarterback Kenny Pickett. In fairness, Pickett was solid, completing 25-of-36 passes despite his receivers letting him down with a few drops. Until the Panthers can get back to running the ball down the throat of the defense, they’ll have to keep leaning on Pickett.
Defensively, the Panthers were outstanding last week, taking advantage of a porous Syracuse offensive line. Pitt racked up seven sacks, matching the number that North Carolina had against Syracuse the previous week. The quality of the opponent aside, Pitt’s defensive line is one of the best in the ACC. Outside of giving up one long touchdown pass, they were exemplary last week.
Impressive Louisville Offense
As for the Louisville Cardinals, they'll be trying to bounce back from a loss against Miami last week. A slow start and a few turnovers from the Louisville offense ended up costing them in the end. The Cards eventually turned the game into a shootout, but couldn’t overcome an early deficit, giving them some work to do in the ACC race.
Other than three turnovers, including an interception and a fumble by quarterback Malik Cunningham, there are few complaints about the Louisville offense last week. Cunningham continued to push the ball down the field and did well to involve star receiver Tutu Atwell, who wasn’t involved much in the team’s season-opener. When all was said and done, the Cards racked up over 500 total yards, but couldn’t overcome three turnovers.
Of course, the Louisville defense didn’t exactly make any positive contributions against Miami. There were promising signs in the season-opener, but they weren't there against a talented Miami offense. The Hurricanes scored two touchdowns in the first half on long drives, and three more touchdowns in the second half on explosive plays. In the end, the Cardinals only forced three punts and no turnovers, making it clear that their defense remains a work in progress.
This will be a game between two teams that couldn't be more different. The Cardinals are explosive offensively, but have a porous defense while the Panthers are strong on the defensive end, but far from impressive on the offensive end. Ultimately, this game could come down to whether Pickett can take advantage of the open space in the Louisville secondary, including how much the Pitt defensive line is able to throw Cunningham off his game.