The show must go on. Pitt (8-4) will face the UCLA Bruins (9-3) in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on Dec. 30 in the Panthers final game of the season. But between the transfer portal, the NFL Draft and injuries, the Panthers will be missing about eight of their best players.
So, the team will not be at full strength when kickoff arrives at 2:00 p.m. next week. Most PA sportsbooks and betting apps have the Panthers as 3.5-point underdogs in the game. The over/under is set at 54 points.
Pitt will lean on its backups in its quest for the upset. Let’s take a look at some stats, odds and other information as we preview the Sun Bowl.
Sun Bowl betting lines Pitt vs. UCLA
Pitt betting preview vs. UCLA
Stats provided courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Pitt 5-7 ATS (against the spread); UCLA 6-6 ATS
- Pitt 9-3 Over/Under; UCLA 8-4 O/U
- Pitt 30.8 avg. points for; UCLA 39.6 avg. points for
- Pitt 23.4 avg. points against; UCLA 28.3 avg. points against
Pitt players to watch in the 2022 Sun Bowl
Pitt fans might need a few moments in the Sun Bowl to get reacquainted with the players on the field. Running back Israel Abanikanda, linebacker SirVocea Dennis, defensive end Deslin Alexandre, offensive tackle Gabe Houy, safety Brandon Hill and offensive tackle Carter Warren are all skipping the game to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Quarterback Kedon Slovis and defensive end John Morgan have entered the transfer portal and will also miss the game. And All-American defensive tackle Calijah Kancey remains out with a shoulder injury.
So a slightly different team will be taking the field in El Paso, Texas for the Panthers. Here’s who might make an impact:
- Nick Patti: Patti, a redshirt senior, may have the inside track to start in the game, but it’s possible Nae Yarnell could also see some action. Patti has completed 9-of-20 passes on the season for 79 yards and a touchdown. The New Jersey native also played in the Peach Bowl last season and ran for a touchdown in that game for the Panthers.
- Rodney Hammond Jr: With Abanikanda out, Hammond Jr. should lead Pitt’s rushing attack. The sophomore from Virginia is second on the team in carries with 84, and rushed for 366 yards and three touchdowns. He also has five receptions for 65 yards. Hammond is a little undersized at 5 feet 9 inches, but is explosive with the football.
- Erick Hallet: The defensive back has already declared for this year’s NFL Draft, but Hallett opted to still play in the bowl game. He’s third on the team with 46 total tackles and has nine passes defended, along with three interceptions. He’ll be one of the most experienced players on Pitt’s defense in the Sun Bowl.
How to bet on college football in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has 14 legal and regulated sports betting apps. You can bet on the Sun Bowl and college football in PA in a variety of ways, including:
- Live/in-game betting
- 1st half spread, moneyline, total,
Player props for college football are not offered at Pennsylvania sportsbooks. So, you won’t see betting lines for wagers on individual players, such as Rodney Hammond over/under rushing yards.
Pitt Football 2022 betting odds
Before the season began, consensus odds for Pitt set the following numbers and odds for the Panthers football team:
- Over 8.5 (-115) / Under 8.5 (-105)
- Odds to win the ACC Championship: +900
- Odds to win the National Championship: +10000
Complete 2022 college football bowl game odds
If you’re building some parlay wagers for the bowl games, here is the complete list of college football postseason odds: