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Georgia Tech at Miami Preview

College Football Betting Predictions Odds and Analysis

The ACC Coastal Division looks very strong this year thanks in part to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Miami Hurricanes. These teams will play at Dolphin Stadium in Miami on Thursday. The Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes are both evenly matched and ranked amongst the Top 25 teams in the nation. Miami looks better than most had anticipated, and will try to avenge last year’s 41-23 loss at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Georgia. The game looks to be a thriller. Miami has been installed as a -4.5 favorite at Sportsbook.com with a total of 55.

Georgia Tech looked well on their way to victory against Clemson last week after going up 24-7 in the first half. They totally collapsed in the second half, allowing Clemson to put up a barrage of points. They narrowly escaped defeat, despite losing the lead in the 4th quarter. It almost seemed as if the two teams had switched jerseys at half time. The pass game was weak, with QB Josh Nesbitt throwing for 83 yards and 2 INTs. The strength of the Yellow Jackets comes from the running game, which ranked 4th in the nation last year. Junior RB Anthony Allen had 5 carries for 127 yards and a TD. He had a long run of 87 yards. Nesbitt was able to scramble for 91 yards.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket’s defense was very strong in the first half last week, allowing Clemson to score just a single time. Things changed drastically in the second half though as they collapsed and nearly cost their team a win. They allowed two passes for TDs, one from 63 yards out, and another for 77 yards. They absolutely must do a better job of stopping the home run pass. The offense is capable of putting up big points. It would do a lot to help their cause against the Hurricanes if they are able to get off to a fast start as they did against Clemson; but they have to avoid a second half collapse this time around.

Many people chuckled when Coach Randy Shannon told reporters that his Miami Hurricanes were among the ten best teams in the country. He is the one laughing now after Miami knocked off ACC and in state rival Florida State to start the year. That game was a shootout with a final score of 38-34. The ‘Canes defense made a huge stand at the end of the game to seal the deal. Florida State needed a TD to win the game, and they had first and goal from the 2. Miami refused to let them get to the end zone. QB Jacory Harris and WR Travis Benjamin were in sync all night. Harris threw for 386 yards and 2 TDs, and Benjamin had 128 yards and a TD.

Miami has plenty of talent at many positions, but like any team it has weaknesses. The secondary needs to prove that it can make big plays. Their turnover margin of -10 was one of the worst in the country last year, ranking 103rd. QB Jacory Harris looked strong in week one, but has to prove that he can perform well every time he steps on the field. The sophomore is a good player, but he has plenty of room to get better. Miami looks like a strong team when playing at Dolphin Stadium; they were able to take down Virginia Tech there last year.

This game will largely depend on which Georgia Tech team shows up; the one from the first half of last week’s game, or the one from the second half. Miami's big opening week win over Florida State not looking so big at this point, after Florida State struggled with Jacksonville State last week. On the other hand, this Georgia Tech team is loaded with returning starters from last years 9-4 squad which easily beat Miami.

We'd expect a much more focused effort from Tech this week, particularly in the 2nd half. Miami has had an extra week of preparation for the Georgia Tech Option attack, which always helps, but we see this one going to the wire, which makes the +4.5 attractive. Georgia Tech +4.5.

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