With the NFL still a week away, Miami and LSU get to play Sunday on national TV at AT&T Stadium in Arlington (home of the Dallas Cowboys). The Hurricanes have bigger aspirations this year with most of their top players returning on offense and that’s why they’re favored by -3 points at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
A/fter winning its first 10 Games in 2017, Miami lost its last three and some of that had to do with the inefficient play of Malik Rosier, who completed less than 50 percent of his passes and had five picks in the losses. Improvement is needed from him if the offense (and team) wants to improve. At the least, the ‘Canes will be competent behind running back Travis Homer (966 yards, 8 TDs) and a line that returns three starters. Speedster Ahmmon Richards is expected to be the top wide out for Rosier, but those two could run into some problems against this defense.
LSU’s offense continues to struggle, but the defense is often one of the best in the country due to talent alone. With seven starters returning, the Tigers could top last year’s 18.9 points per Game allowed as there’s NFL talent at every level. That’s the main problem for Miami because when faced against better defenses last year, it often fell apart.
Of course, the Tigers are still hard to bet on because of a lack of offense and that’s mainly due to inefficient quarterback play. A week before the season LSU still didn’t know who was going to start at quarterback with Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow competing with last year’s backup Myles Brennan. It doesn’t get better for the offense as both Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams are gone in the backfield with Nick Brossette (96 yards) the top returnee. The line returns three starters, but it’s unclear if that will be enough when almost everyone around them is new. The goal for the LSU quarterbacks will be to not turn it over because that’s what Miami feasted on last season with its turnover chain. That means LSU should run the ball plenty and that’s not a guarantee to work as well as a year ago.
Miami gets back stud defensive tackle Gerald Willis III to go with Joe Jackson on the end and they may actually be better with six starters returning on the back end. That’s not good news for LSU in this Game and expecting them to Scoremore than 20 points would be a stretch. In fact, the under 48 points may be a reasonable place to turn. Miami could struggle to move the ball against an elite defense, while LSU always struggles to move the ball.
Unless Miami gets a couple pick-6s or Rosier takes a major step at quarterback, 20 points may be all that’s needed to win this Game. There’s a chance everyone’s amped up playing on a Sunday at AT&T Stadium, but everything between these teams points to a lower scoring Game in which the team with a better offense wins and that means Miami.
Our Pick – With signs pointing a a low scoring Game, we see the pointspread winner as a toss up here. So instead of a side, we’ll do a lean towards the under. Miami/LSU UNDER 48