A panel of ESPN writers were tasked with predicting the outcome of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday between Northwestern and Pitt, and the Panthers came out of the experiment as the choice.
Four of the five writers chose the Panthers, who will be trying to take advantage of star running back James Connor’s final collegiate game. In addition to the writers, the mathematical projection systems that ESPN uses also favored the Panthers. TeamRankings.com projects a 33.2-29.9 Pitt victory, while numberFire projects a 28-24.1 Pitt victory.
While all of these different sources expect the Panthers to win, it’s worth noting that the margin of victory is close in each. Even the writers who favored them only had Pitt winning by slightly more than four points on average.
Given Northwestern’s talented playmakers in running back Justin Jackson and wide receiver Austin Carr — who led the Big Ten with 84 catches this season — no one would be surprised if the Wildcats managed to pull off the upset.
Be sure to tune in to the game at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.