Miami – NC Free Pick with Analysis

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North Carolina

College Football

Free Pick


Miami is undefeated, but most people continue to overlook the Hurricanes as a legit playoff contender. That’s mostly due to close wins with none of them being against worthwhile competition. With another freebie on the Schedule, Miami should be looking to blowout a one-win North Carolina team. The Hurricanes are -20.5 point favorites as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

This will not be a repeat of last year’s Game in which UNC won 20-13 on the road. Those kinds of performances are long gone for the Tar Heels, with their only win coming against Old Dominion this season. They’ve battled at times, but were just dealt their worst loss of the season last week in a 59-7 throttling by Virginia Tech. Now against a top-10 team at home, UNC will have to forget about last Game to compete in this one.

Nothing has been easy for Miami’s last three wins. The ‘Canes scraped past Florida State, probably should’ve lost to Georgia Tech and then struggled to separate against Syracuse last week. With Virginia Tech and Notre Dame on the upcoming Schedule, the Hurricanes are in need of an easy win.

The problem is that this offense hasn’t shown the ability to blow out teams. While quarterback Malik Rosier has looked good with 14 TDs and only three picks, he’s still lacking in the touchdown department considering how many times he passes per Game. The running Game has also been stout with Travis Homer leading the way the last two weeks with 310 total yards and three touchdowns.

But while Miami has failed to surpass 27 points in the last three Games, that should change in this one as long as they continue to move the ball at a consistent rate. The Heels have one of the worst defenses in the country, giving up 450 yards and almost 35 points per Game. If Miami doesn’t reach 30 or even 40 points in this Game, it’d be a disappointment.

Covering this Game will revolve around the UNC offense, which is a big question right now as the Heels haven’t scored more than 17 points in their last five Games. Chazz Surratt left last Game with a leg injury and his status is up in the air, although that probably won’t matter much. Then again, backup quarterback Brandon Harris has been terrible for the Heels this season with just one touchdown to eight interceptions. Miami’s weakness is in rush defense, but it’ll be hard to trust a UNC offense that averages 3.8 yards per carry (sacks included). Running backs Michael Carter and Jordon Brown should see a ton of work, either way.

The only reason to back North Carolina is because of the better defense its played at home this season, holding Duke to 27, Notre Dame to 33 and Virginia to 20 points. That’ll still be a hard thing to back in this matchup with the ‘Canes looking like an offense that could repeat what Virginia Tech did last week.

The Hurricanes have covered in their last Four on the road and are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 overall. The Tar Heels have failed to cover in their last five home Games and haven’t covered in their last seven in ACC play. In this matchup, the underdog is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings.

Our Pick – UNDER 55

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