Pittsburgh’s Justin Champagnie (11) shoots as North Carolina State’s DJ Funderburk (0) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
- Pittsburgh is a 3-point favorite over Miami in the 1st Round of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday (March 9th, 2 pm ET)
- The Panthers have seen their second and third leading scorers leave the team in the last two weeks
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
The ACC Tournament tips off on Tuesday (March 9th, 2 pm ET) in Greensboro, NC with a matchup between two teams who look at lot different now than they did at the beginning of the season.
Pittsburgh (10-11, 6-10 ACC) has seen two of its top three scorers leave the program within the last two weeks, while Miami (8-16, 4-15 ACC) has been ravaged by injuries all year, and are down to six healthy scholarship players on its roster.
Miami vs Pittsburgh Odds
|Miami Hurricanes||+3.0 (-110)||OFF||Over 136.5 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh Panthers||-3.0 (-110)||OFF||Under 136.5 (-110)|
Odds taken March 8th at FanDuel.
The Hurricanes opened up as a 3-point underdog, in a game that features a total of 136.5. Miami has grown accustom to playing without plenty of players who were on their opening day roster, but for Pittsburgh, suiting up shorthanded is not something they’re used to.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Pitt Is a Team In Turmoil
A day after Xavier Johnson left the Panthers to enter the transfer portal, Au’Diese Toney did the same thing. The team’s second and third leading scorers accounted for 40% of Pittsburgh’s offense before their departures, and each shot above 50% from inside the three-point line.
Pittsburgh’s Au’Diese Toney will enter the transfer portal, the school announced. Comes a day after Xavier Johnson did the same. Toney was averaging 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 25, 2021
Their absences now put even more pressure on Justin Champagnie, who is having arguably the best season of any player in the ACC. Champagnie leads the conference in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and ranks second behind Duke’s Matthew Hurt in points per game (18.4). He’s the only ACC player who averages a double-double per night, and is now the only Panther who pours in more than 8.9 points per contest.
All-ACC First Team, per release:
Carlik Jones, Louisville
Justin Champagnie, Pitt
Matthew Hurt, Duke
Sam Hauser, Virginia
Moses Wright, Georgia Tech
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 8, 2021
Pitt has dropped two of three games since losing Johnson and Toney, with its lone win coming over a Wake Forest program that dropped seven straight to close out the season. The Panthers weren’t an elite offensive team before the departures, and have struggled to score since, averaging only 64.6 points per game. They managed just 62 points in their season finale, a 15-point loss to Clemson, and rank in the bottom-third of the ACC in points per game and field-goal percentage.
Miami Enters With Momentum
The Hurricanes meanwhile, finished the season on a high note, outlasting Boston College 80-76 to snap a six-game losing streak. Kameron McGusty led the way with a season-high 27 points, while Nysier Brooks splashed a career-high 21, and Anthony Walker racked up 17 points and 7 rebounds.
This trio was fantastic in Friday’s finale.
We take a look back at the numbers presented by University Credit Union. pic.twitter.com/kPwabbP7Vz
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) March 7, 2021
Miami has seen five of its players go down with season ending injuries this year, but has still produced some impressive outcomes. They beat Duke, and at the time a ranked Louisville team, while suffering two losses to #22 Virginia Tech by a combined 6 total points, and one possession defeats to UNC and Clemson.
Tourney bound 🤟 pic.twitter.com/EqYH99S4XF
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) March 7, 2021
Their offensive and defensive stats are porous, but keep in mind they’ve rarely had the same lineup on the floor for more than a game or two at a time. Now, with some stability restored, the trio of McGusty, Walker and Brooks playing well, and Isaiah Wong providing leadership at the point, the Hurricanes could make some noise this week.
Cash With the Canes
This is an easy fade Pittsburgh spot. The team is in turmoil, and you have to believe Miami will do everything they can to keep the ball away from Champagnie. The rest of the Panthers roster doesn’t scare anyone, while the Hurricanes have been kind to bettors recently.
🙌 already know we’re bringing that energy in Greensboro. pic.twitter.com/UyY33OgplB
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) March 8, 2021
Miami has covered its last two games as an underdog, and is 10-7 ATS this season. Pittsburgh on the other hand, is 4-8 in its last 12 ATS, and will likely struggle to find enough offense to win this game, let alone cover.
Pick: Miami Hurricanes +3 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.