College Football Pick
A week ago this was looking like a top-25 matchup with the winner getting the upper hand in the ACC’s Coastal division. Now, after both teams were upset last weekend, that hype has fallen off. That said, the Coastal division is still up for grabs and either of these teams can finish out ahead. The Hurricanes opened as -7 point home favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met a year ago, it was a bit of a different situation. The Tar Heels were 8-1 and looking primed to head to the ACC title Game, while the Hurricanes already had three losses to their name. And that’s kind of exactly how the Game played out with UNC’s offense dominating en route to a 59-21 win. They used 294 rushing yards and six touchdowns to lead the way, but it’s worth noting this offense is much different than that version.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky is not as mobile as Marquise Williams and that has turned this offense into a pass-heavy group. The Heels still run plenty, but not as effectively with Elijah Hood averaging 5.0 yards per carry and T.J. Logan behind him with 325 rushing yards. Meanwhile, Trubisky was having an incredible season before getting taken out by Virginia Tech.
There may have been some let down by the Heels following a win over Florida State, but the weather can’t be ignored. The Game against the Hokies was wet due to the hurricane and that led to struggles for a UNC offense that used Trubisky to throw for 400-plus yards the previous three Games. Instead, Trubisky managed just 58 yards and threw his first two interceptions of the season. If this Game is dry, there’s no doubt Trubisky will have much better numbers.
The Hurricanes are still a bit of an unknown as they just didn’t have what it took to beat Florida State last weekend. It was a back-and-forth Game that the ‘Canes easily could’ve won, but not having a running Game hurt them as much as UNC. Miami actually has good rushing numbers on the year between Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby, but a lot of those stats were acquired via easy matchups.
Going into this Game, we know North Carolina can score, but gives up tons of points. On the other side, we know Miami can Scoreas well through Brad Kaaya and a slightly better ground Game. What’s still an uncertainty is Miami’s defense. They played Florida State tough, but weren’t really challenged before that.
Do the Hurricanes have what it takes to stop Trubisky? That’s the main question with this line up at a touchdown. And then another issue for Miami is with Brad Kaaya who’s dealing with a shoulder injury and likely won’t be 100% for this Game. That could play a huge roll if Kaaya doesn’t play or if he’s limited, especially if the ‘Canes turn to their running Game more than usual.
UNC’s loss last week was somewhat flukish due to the weather, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Trubisky was back at it going for another 400 yards in this Game. Either way, the status of Kaaya will be important to check before betting this one.
The Tar Heels are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Games following an ATS loss and 9-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Hurricanes are 4-0 ATS in their last Four following a straight-up loss. The underdog is 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – The Miami defense is ranked 5th in the Nation, however, they have had the luxury of playing Florida Atlantic, Florida A&M and App State this year. That being said, the Tar Heel defense leaves a lot to be desired and the Hurricanes shoud have success moving the ball with or without Brad Kaaya behind center.
Look for Miami to avenge last years result and to bounce back after last weeks FSU loss. Betonline has Miami -6.5 -120 as of this writing. Let’s hope we see more -6.5’s pop up this week. Miami -6.5 or better.