Updated National Championship odds Could Pittsburgh make noise

Updated National Championship odds: Could Pittsburgh make noise?

Believe it or not, we are now past the halfway point of the 2021 college football season. Georgia (+110), Alabama (+250) and Ohio State (+500) remain the three favorites to win the national championship, but let’s take a look at big riser Pittsburgh (+3300) after the Panthers beat Clemson 27-17 this past week – the Panthers have a two-game lead in the loss column in the ACC’s Coastal Division. They are 6-1, somehow losing to MAC school Western Michigan early in the season.

Let’s take a look at how the teams are coming in so you can place your NCAAF bets.

Analysis College Football Championship 2021

Rising star QB Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett put his name in the Heisman Trophy race in the win over six-time ACC champion Clemson as he completed 25 of 39 passes to overtake Alex Van Pelt for the most career completions in school history. The fifth-year senior ran for two drive-extending dives late in the fourth quarter after the Tigers had drawn within 10.

Pickett has now thrown 23 TD against just a single interception through seven games. Pickett has 81 for his career (62 passing, 18 rushing and one receiving). He needs one to tie Dan Marino’s career TD responsibility record of 82 (79 passing, three rushing) set from 1979-82.  Pickett is also eyeing Pitt’s school record for total offense. He presently ranks second with 10,983 yards and needs just 166 to eclipse Alex Van Pelt’s record of 11,148 set from 1989-92.

Pitt’s 27 points marked the most scored against Clemson this year in regulation. (In its 27-21 double-overtime loss at NC State, Clemson surrendered 14 in regulation.) The Tigers entered the game surrendering an ACC-low 12.5 points per game, the second fewest in the nation. Pitt was also the first offense to top 400 yards against Clemson this season.

Receiver Jordan Addison is meriting strong Biletnikoff Award consideration with his production. Addison is tied for the national lead with 10 touchdown catches, already the most at Pitt since 2016. However, Addison is in the concussion protocol after exiting Saturday’s win over Clemson early.

Addison took a big shot in the second quarter of Saturday’s tilt but remained in the game until the following quarter. Hawaii graduate transfer Melquise Stovall assumed his role and will do so again on Saturday if Addison can’t go. Addison’s loss would sting. The star receiver has a 34-586-9 line this fall.

While Pickett might be the best quarterback in the ACC, Brandon Hill might be the best safety in the league. Against Clemson he had a team-high 11 tackles and three pass breakups, both personal bests. The Tigers completed just 47% of their passes for a mere 151 yards. Hill was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award on Monday, going to the nation’s top defensive back. Hill leads the team in tackles (46) and pass breakups (six). He has one interception, a game-clinching pick in Pitt’s 41-34 victory at Tennessee last month.

This week, Pittsburgh is -10 vs. Miami (Fla.). In addition to Coastal implications, a win over Miami would give Pitt a 7-1 record for the first time since 2009.

Pitt could be on track to face unbeaten Wake Forest (+10000) in the ACC title game. The Deacons have started their season 7-0 for the second time in program history (1944). The Deacons seven-game win streak is tied for the program’s longest in school history with the other coming in 1944. Wake rose to No. 13 in the AP poll this week. Wake Forest’s highest ranking as a program in the AP poll is 11th that came on Oct. 20, 1947. This is the first time that Wake Forest has been ranked higher than 14th since that aforementioned date.

The Demon Deacons are one of just nine remaining unbeaten schools in the country, one of five in the Power-5 and the only in the ACC. Wake Forest has scored 302 combined points this season, which is on pace to break the single season record from 2017 when Wake Forest tallied 459 points. Wake Forest is currently averaging 43.1 points per game, which would be another school-record setting season.

The Deacons are -16.5 this Saturday at home vs. Duke.  Wake Forest holds a mark of 18-5 vs. Duke since 2000, winning three of the last four matchups.

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