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West Virginia vs. No. 17 Pitt picks and best bets for Backyard Brawl

The Mountaineers and Panthers meet for the first time in 11 years. They don’t like each other. Here’s everything you need to make a pick for the game.

A general view of a Pitt Panthers helmet during the Reese’s Senior Bowl practice session on February 2, 2002 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 17 Pittsburgh Panthers will meet the West Virginia Mountaineers in Pittsburgh on Thursday, September 1, with kickoff set for 7:00 pm. ET in a revival of the century-old Backyard Brawl rivalry series.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

West Virginia: No. 58 overall, No. 66 offense, No. 54 defense
Pittsburgh: No. 23 overall, No. 7 offense, No. 55 defense

Injury update

West Virginia

TE Mike O’Laughlin - Questionable (knee)


Against The Spread

West Virginia: 0-0 ATS
Pittsburgh: 0-0 ATS


West Virginia: Over 0-0
Pittsburgh: Over 0-0

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

West Virginia: No. 38 overall, No. 34 offense, No. 41 defense
Pittsburgh: No. 39 overall, No. 37 offense, No. 40 defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Pitt -7.5
Total: 52.5
Moneyline: Pitt -300, WVU +250

Opening line: Pitt -6.5
Opening total: 55.5


79 degrees, 6 MPH wind, 0% chance of rain

The Pick

Pitt (-300)

Pitt’s transfer portal talent and their returners’ experience in big games from 2021 should serve them well, as will the home advantage. The Kedon Slovis-JT Daniels matchup will be fun to watch, and Pitt won’t be the same team without Kenny Pickett, but I’m going with the Panthers on the moneyline for this Thursday.

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