The Pittsburgh Panthers are 5-1 straight up and against the spread in their last six games played in the month of December. The Panthers will try to end a solid 2016 campaign on a high note with a win over the Northwestern Wildcats in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Pittsburgh is a 5.5-point favorite at Yankee Stadium at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Since opening as a 3-point favorite, the Panthers have received steady betting action to move the line to -5.5.
The Panthers had one of the most explosive offenses in the country this season, ranking No. 11 in scoring with 42.3 points per game. That offense helped propel Pittsburgh to shootout wins of 42-39 against Penn State and 43-42 against Clemson, two of the top five teams in college football. Pittsburgh's outstanding offense helped to offset the damage of an awful defense that ranked No. 108 in the nation, allowing 35.6 points per game.
Both of these teams have struggled in their recent bowl histories. Pittsburgh is 1-4 SU and ATS in its last five postseason games and Northwestern is 1-10 SU and 5-6 ATS in its last 11 per the OddsShark College Football Database.
Betting Line / Total: Pittsburgh -5.5 / 65.5 Points
Trend: Northwestern is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games.
Trend: Pittsburgh is 5-1 SU and ATS in its last six games in December.
Northwestern's season got off to a disastrous start with back-to-back losses as a home favorite to Western Michigan and Illinois State, but the team rebounded to earn bowl eligibility by going 6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS the rest of the way. The Wildcats eclipsed 24 points on offense just four times this season and will likely need to do so on Wednesday if they hope to keep up with the high-powered Pittsburgh offense. Northwestern is 6-2 ATS over its last eight games.
The total for this bowl matchup is set at 65.5. The OVER is 11-0 in Pittsburgh's last 11 games.
This should be an interesting matchup between two teams starving for a bowl win. Pittsburgh's strength is in its offense, and Northwestern's strength is in its defense. It will come down to which side of this strength vs. strength clash can make more big plays that will decide the winner of this year's Pinstripe Bowl.
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
When: Wednesday, December 28, 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York