The Pittsburgh Panthers aim for their first bowl victory in the tenure of coach Pat Narduzzi when they take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles in the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl. Kickoff comes at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday from Ford Field in Detroit. Pittsburgh (7-5) has lost all three bowl games under Narduzzi and four straight overall, with its last win coming in the 2013 Little Caesars Bowl against Bowling Green. The Panthers were edged 14-13 by Stanford in last year's Sun Bowl. The Eagles (6-6) seek their first bowl win of the decade following two close losses and fell 23-21 to Georgia Southern in last season's Camellia Bowl.
The Panthers are 13-point favorites after the line opened at 10.5, while the over-under for total points scored is 50 in the latest Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan odds. Before making any Eastern Michigan vs. Pitt picks, make sure you check out the latest Quick Lane Bowl predictions from SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel.
A Nevada-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in collegiate athletics and was SportsLine's top college football analyst last year. He is having another strong season for SportsLine members, hitting on nearly 60 percent of his spread selections. What's more, he has had a keen sense for the trajectory of these clubs, posting a record of 12-6 on college football picks involving the Eagles or Panthers over the past two seasons.
In Week 8, Nagel advised SportsLine members that Pittsburgh (-5) was due for a letdown spot against an erratic Miami club that would be desperate for a victory. The Hurricanes pulled off the outright win, 16-12, giving Nagel's followers another winner. Anyone who has consistently followed him is way up.
Now, Nagel has zeroed in on Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan in the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl from every angle and released another confidence against the spread pick that he's only sharing over at SportsLine. Here are the college football betting lines and trends for Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh:
- Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan spread: Panthers -13
- Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan over-under: 50 points
- Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan money line: Panthers -515, Eagles +387
- PITT: The Panthers have covered the spread in five of their last six non-conference games.
- EMU: The Eagles are 17-8 ATS against opponents with winning records.
Nagel knows the Panthers rank second in the country with 49 sacks and seventh nationally with 98 tackles for loss. Eastern Michigan has allowed 21 sacks on the season, suggesting its offensive line can be susceptible to a strong pass rush. Pittsburgh registered five sacks against North Carolina's strong passing game, including one that forced a fourth-and-long in overtime. The Panthers then made a fourth-down stop to seal the win.
Pittsburgh's run defense has limited opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards six times. The Eagles average 121 rushing yards per game on 3.8 yards per attempt, so Pittsburgh has a chance to make Eastern Michigan one-dimensional if they can shut down the run. The Panthers limited another MAC opponent, Ohio, to 35 rushing yards in their 20-10 victory.
Even so, the Panthers are far from assured of covering the Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan spread in the Quick Lane Bowl 2019 against a club that is eager to get its first bowl victory of this decade following two close defeats.
Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton has led the program to back-to-back bowl bids for the first time in school history. Prior to his arrival in 2014, the school had gone 29 years without a bowl berth. Creighton told the media that he was at the team's annual banquet when he received a text informing him of the invitation to the Quick Lane Bowl. He said the crowd of nearly 300 erupted in cheer upon the announcement.
Creighton's clubs won just three combined games in his first two seasons, but the Eagles have had just one losing season since. The 50-year-old is a former professional quarterback and coach for the Limhamn Griffins of Sweden. Indiana head coach Tom Allen worked as an assistant under Creighton at Drake, whom Creighton led to a 41-22 record in five seasons.
We can tell you Nagel is leaning over the total, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He's found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard. He's sharing what it is, and who to back, only at SportsLine.
Who wins Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh in the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan spread you should be all over Thursday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit nearly 70 percent of his picks on these teams.