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Virginia vs. Miami Thursday Night Football Pick
The Miami Hurricanes host the Virginia Cavaliers in an ACC match up on Thursday Night that has bowl games implications for both programs. Both of these teams are at 4-3 on the year, two games away from Bowl eligibility. For Miami, it looks like a safe bet they'll get 6 wins and then some. But for Virginia, every game is crucial and you really can't pencil in any wins the rest of the way. Miami opened as a -14.5 favorite and has been bet down to -13.5 as the early money favors Virginia.
If you look only at the last game each team played, this past week, you'd come to the conclusion that Virginia may be in trouble here. Miami held Georgia Tech to just 134 yards on the ground which is remarkable. If they're able to shut down the Virginia running game the way they shut down Tech, it could be a long night for the Virginia QB tandem of Watford and Rocco.
Of course, Virginia owns their own marquee win over Georgia Tech a couple of weeks ago, 24-21, but that's where the similarities end between these two teams. Virginia's 3 other wins came against William & Mary, Idaho and Indiana. They blew out William & Mary but squeaked by Idaho by 1 and Indiana by 3, games that could have gone either way. In their lost last week to NC State they were held to a season low 249 yards and turned the ball over 4 times.
Miami has played a schedule perhaps as many as 10 points more difficult than that of Virginia and while both teams are 4-3, Miami's numbers are much more impressive as they are better than Virginia's numbers and came against much stiffer competition. Using yards per point to make a line here, you'd come up with Miami as at least a 10 point favorite and that's before factoring in the schedule difference. Likewise, our model predicts an easy win for the Hurricanes, 31-14.
It's a big number to lay against a team in Virginia that has at least proved it can play with a top 25 team as a result of their win over Georgia Tech. But the numbers point towards a Miami win by a large margin. But use caution here. While the model predicts a 17 point win, even if that plays out, the back door cover is always a possibility here. Miami -13.5
** Also note - Miami has a little revenge motive going as they were upset by Virginia last year, 24-19
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