The Pittsburgh Panthers closed the year on a 4-1-1 run against the spread, and they'll get another chance to pay out at the window on Thursday afternoon when they take on the Colorado Buffaloes as betting favorites in South Region action.
It’s rare for a No. 9 seed to be favored by six points against an eighth seed, but the power rankings at OddsShark.com bear out the quality discrepancy between these teams.
Interestingly, when No. 8-ranked schools have been underdogs to lower-seeded No. 9 schools, the eight seeds were perfect against the spread the last eight times this situation has occurred.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Panthers opened as six-point favorites; the total was 128.5. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Pittsburgh to cover the spread
Pittsburgh suffered a bit of a down year in its inaugural season in the ACC, finishing fifth with a 25-9 record.
The No. 9 Panthers, though, closed the year on that against-the-spread run and did it with great ball distribution. Pittsburgh finished 21st in the country in assists—243 spots higher than Colorado—and will be looking to make up for an upset loss in the second round last year.
Why pick Colorado to cover the spread
The No. 8 Buffaloes will be attempting to win their second tournament game in three seasons, and they earned an at-large bid after finishing in fourth place in the Pac-12 with a record of 23-11.
Eighth seeds are a perfect 8-0 against the spread in the past eight games as underdogs to ninth seeds. The Buffaloes will control the boards, where they rank 50th with 37.5 rebounds per game, but they need to buck a trend of losing as underdogs.
Smart betting pick
While the teams are close in seeding, the numbers are deceiving. Colorado did most of its damage before star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was lost for the season to injury.
Since his injury, the Buffaloes are 0-4 against ranked teams. Pittsburgh will cover the spread against a depleted Colorado team.
Pittsburgh Panthers: No. 35
Colorado Buffaloes: No. 242 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Colorado played five straight unders to end the season.
- Colorado is 2-12 straight up in the past 14 games as an underdog.
- Colorado is 1-4 against the spread in tourney games since 1997.
- Pitt finished on a 4-1-1 against-the-spread run.
- No. 8 seeds were 8-0 straight up and against the spread as underdogs to No. 9 seeds.
- Pitt is 2-8 against the spread in the past 10 tournament games.