Stanford vs. Pitt Sun Bowl Pick

Stanford vs. Pittsburgh, 12/31/18 Hyundai Sun Bowl Predictions

With the Stanford Cardinal down several starters including running back Bryce Love, will the Pittsburgh Panthers cover as a small underdog on Monday in the Hyundai Sun Bowl at 2:00 p.m. ET?

Game Snapshot

260 Stanford Cardinal vs. 259 Pittsburgh Panthers

2:00 p.m. ET, Monday, December 31, 2018

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

Public Betting Trends

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Cardinal are 4.5-point favorites to beat the Panthers. The total, meanwhile, sits at 52 points. As of this writing, 56% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Cardinal.

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford senior RB Bryce Love will not play in the Sun Bowl. Love (5'10/202) will instead focus on the NFL Draft, and it's without a doubt the correct decision for him. So much of Love's draft grade will be injury related and risking further damage in the bowl game would be a potential detriment to his draft stock. Love has shown a ton of explosion at times -- he averaged 8.1 YPC on 263 attempts in 2017 -- but that was stolen from him this year while playing on a bummed ankle. The Draft Network's Benjamin Solak notes that Love is being viewed as a Day 3 selection at the moment, but Love could beat that assessment if he can show NFL doctors that his ankle injuries aren't an issue moving forward.

Pittsburgh Panthers

Pitt senior RB Darrin Hall ran for 86 yards on 14 carries in a 42-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday. Hall was able to make some decent runs, but it wasn't nearly enough with Clemson scoring points and the Pittsburgh passing game doing less than nothing. The senior does go over the thousand-yard mark, however, and played solidly -- at times much better than that -- over his 2018 campaign. He'll get a chance to play in a bowl game, but after that, he should get an invite to at least one of the all-star bowls.

Betting Trends

Stanford

The over is 4-1 in the Cardinal’s last five games overall and is 4-1 in their last five bowl games.

Pittsburgh

The over is 4-1 in the Panthers’ last five bowl games.

Prediction

The Panthers rank 11th in offensive efficiency and eighth in explosives. They should be able to control this game on the ground and in the trenches against a Stanford rush defense that is nothing to write home about. As previously mentioned, the Cardinal will also be down several starters, including Love, receiver Trent Irwin, left tackle Walker Little and right guard Nate Herbig. If Pitt doesn’t pull off the outright upset, I like the Panthers to at least cover the 4.5.

Hyndai Sun Bowl Prediction: Pittsburgh Panthers +4.5

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