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North Carolina vs. Miami Fla
Betting Line: Miami -6.5 o/u 48
You have to admire the job Butch Davis has done at North Carolina. Many college football teams would have packed it in right from the start with all of the allegations and suspensions due to NCAA violations but the Tar Heels have given 110% from the get go, including their first game of the season when they almost came back and beat LSU. This is a program that had very high hopes this year, and while the biggest goal of all, a National Title, is out of the picture, the ACC is still within grasp. But this game is a must.
Miami is in the same boat. Big things were expected this year, but their bubble was burst in the 2nd game of the year with a loss at Ohio State. Their other loss is puzzling. They were destroyed by Florida State 45-17. Safe to say that if they played FSU 10 more times, you'd see much different results. Chalk it up to an off day as the Hurricanes are a solid football team.
The Tar Heels have had Miami's number under Butch Davis. They have beaten Miami 3 straight, all as underdogs going in. All three were close games with 4, 6 and 9 point margins. The difference in last years game was the Tar Heel defense picking off two passes for TD's and we'd expect both defenses to figure prominently in the outcome this week.
After opening the season with two straight games giving up 30 points, the Tar
Heels defense got back on track giving up 13, 17, 16, and 10 points, and while
the strength of schedule in that 4 game stretch may not have been the toughest,
Clemson was one of the four. Coming into the year the NC defense was the talk of
college football. The defense was loaded with NFL prospects and figured to be
among the best in the nation. The suspensions really took their toll early on,
but the Tar Heels have gotten some of those players back and have managed to
fill some holes in other spots. (Now they will have one more hole to fill. tight
end Zack Pianalto, their leading receiver, has been declared out for the year
with a fractured fibula.)
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These two teams, at this point, are almost identical. They are both averaging about 29 points per game while both are giving up 20. Across the board, statistically, they hold similar positions when compared with the rest of the NCAA, with the notable difference of Miami being #4 against the pass. Yards per point numbers are identical on offense at 13 with the edge on defense going to the Tar Heels with 17 while the Hurricanes are a 15.5. Of significance here is that all of these stats were put up against schedule's dead even in strength.
Also of significance here is that the Tar Heels figure to keep improving week after week, as they get players back and as the players they have used to plug holes get more comfortable in their roles. We haven't seen the best Tar Heels team yet.
The bottom line here is that these are two teams of equal talent. Both field top notch defensive units that both figure to have a major say in the outcome here. Just like last years two NC picks were the difference, we'd expect more of the same this year.
One of the keys to our long term success here at Bettorsworld is finding live dogs. We probably play 80-85% underdogs. Give us an underdog with a chance to win the game straight up as we enter the 4th quarter and we will take it every time. We grade our handicapping a success on a given game if we're right there in the 4th quarter, regardless of whether we win or lose the game. 3 things can happen to that dog, and 2 are good. They either win straight up, making the points a bonus. They lose, but cover. Or lose but don't cover.
The Tar Heels fit the bill here. The likelihood of this game being decided by a TD or less is high. Note that as of this writing on Thursday, there are mostly +6.5's across the board. However, BetUs has the game at North Carolina +7. We'll put the game out at the most widely available number, but shop, shop, shop.......it makes a difference! North Carolina +6.5