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ACC Football Pick
The Miami Hurricanes look to bounce back from a blowout loss this week as they host the North Carolina Tarheels. Miami is a +6.5 home underdog at 5 Dimes and Betonline with a total of 68.5. The early betting action at the world's largest sportsbook, sportsbook.ag, shows us that 64% of the early action has been on North Carolina.
The Hurricanes thought they had things figured out. Since their 39-point loss at Kansas State a month ago, Miami (FL) reeled off three straight wins including two against ACC foes. After their most recent 41-3 destruction at Notre Dame, it looks like they still have a long way to go. North Carolina has won three straight games of their own after two consecutive road losses at Wake Forest and Louisville. This one will also be a road game for the Tar Heels, but they find themselves as sizable favorites.
Last year, Miami (FL) went to Chapel Hill and took out North Carolina 30-24 as small underdogs. That was also when the Hurricanes had Jacory Harris, Lamar Miller and Travis Benjamin, so their team is noticeably a lot different this season. Stephen Morris now leads the Canes and has done a good job in wins, but fallen apart when playing a difficult defense. He has 1,836 yards and nine TDs through six games of work. Wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott have made the most of Morris's good days combining for 50 receptions, 829 yards and five touchdowns. Duke Johnson and Mike James are at the head of the running game. Each back has at least 60 carries to go with over 300 yards and a total of eight TDs. As one would expect, neither of them could get it going against the Fighting Irish either totaling just 50 yards between the two
North Carolina's defense has struggled against conference opponents in Wake Forest and Virginia Tech giving up 62 points in those two games which means Morris should be able to find more room in the secondary this week. The Hurricanes have played three ACC games and haven't scored under 41 points in any of them.
For the Tar Heels, Bryn Renner has been solid at QB, but we won't know his real development from last year until he goes against a few more ACC defenses. Renner has totaled 1,616 yards and a solid 15-4 TD to INT ratio this year through six games. He spreads the ball around a lot with five receivers having at least 14 grabs. Running back Giovani Bernard busted out last week for 262 yards and a TD against Virginia Tech which was good enough for ACC player of the week. He and A.J. Blue (two TDs vs Va. Tech) will be key against the Hurricanes this week on the road as they try and keep Stephen Morris off the field.
Much like the UNC defense, Miami (FL) has struggled to contain anyone's offense, as long as they aren't named Bethune-Cookman.
The Hurricanes have won and covered in the last two meetings, but the Tar Heels have the advantage in the last eight games going 5-2-1. No matter, Miami (FL) is 5-1 ATS in their last six conference games while North Carolina is 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. The over has hit four times in their last five meetings.
Our numbers show North Carolina on top here BUT BE CAREFUL. We show Miami as having played a schedule almost two touchdowns more difficult than North Carolina's, yet the Hurricanes are 3-0 in ACC play and sitting in 1st place. Talk about no respect. Despite that, the Hurricanes are more than a TD underdog at home! North Carolina failed in their two other road games this year and those were against Wake Forest and Louisville. We don't do it often, but we're going to go against our own numbers here and back the Hurricanes at home. Their two losses this year came against two of the better teams in college football this year, Notre Dame and Kansas State. Miami +8
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