Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:45 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Syracuse @ Pittsburgh -4
Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
3:30 PM EST. A second loss often bursts the bubble for contending teams. We went over this concept last week but it’s in play again here. The bubble-burst phenomenon has always been an extremely powerful concept, and these days the sport is delivered primarily in a way that defines that bubble. That leads most people -- players included -- to think that a second loss closes the door on any prize that's really worth having. That's not our take, but proof of its pervasiveness is in the profits.
There were eight teams that were in the top 15 at this time last year that took a second loss in Week 7 or later. Those eight teams combined for a 3-16-1 record against the number since taking that second loss, and one of those three against-the-spread covers was within the group. It’s not just last year, as we went back a few years and picked a random year for more proof. In 2018 for example, Penn State, Wisconsin, Washington, Miami, Texas, LSU, Kentucky and Florida were all in the top-15 and then combined for a 4-14 record against the number since taking that second loss.
The newest member to this collective was N.C. State, who didn’t come close to covering against West Virginia last week when they won by a single point (22-21) despite being a 13½-point favorite. Ironically, N.C. State lost to Syracuse the week prior which was its second loss of the year.
This week’s target is Syracuse, who is taking back what appears to be an enticing number against a Pitt team that has lost three of four and has lost its last two by 14 or more. This is not exactly the spot you should be looking for even if you're inclined to stand under the falling rock that is the "bubble-burst" club. The Panthers' stock is low, which just gives us more incentive to get behind them here. The disappointment after what was a promising start for Syracuse will be on full display here on the road.
Pittsburgh -4 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)