It hasn’t been the best start to the season for either of these teams, but that’s not stopping Miami from being another huge favorite against North Carolina. Coming off a non-covering win against FIU, the Hurricanes were early -18.5 point home favorites as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met a year ago it was a much different situation later in October with Miami fighting to remain undefeated. The Tar Heels almost pulled off the upset as a 21-point underdog, but ended up losing 24-19 outgaining the Hurricanes by 13 total yards. In that Game, UNC actually had a more balanced attack even though Nathan Elliott threw three picks, as the ground Game went for 176 yards compared to Miami’s 59. Considering what has transpired early this season, it’ll be hard to put money on the Heels.
It hasn’t been a pretty start for UNC even after beating Pittsburgh last weekend with the 41-19 loss at ECU still looming over its head. Elliott remains unreliable at quarterback completing 56.7% of his passes for three touchdowns and Four interceptions. To compete, they’ll once again need a little more from the ground Game with Antonio Williams and Jordon Brown expected to see a lot of touches. The problem is that Miami hasn’t allowed anything on the ground as it’s giving up just 2.1 yards per carry. Sure, the ‘Canes haven’t had much competition since getting run over by LSU for 156 yards, but that’s still a relevant stat. If the running Game doesn’t work for UNC, there’s almost no chance it will win or even cover this Game and betting on Elliott isn’t exactly a good idea.
On the other end, all signs point to Miami doing what it wants, whether through the air with N’Kosi Perry or on the ground with Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas. Perry took over for Malik Rosier last week, though quarterback may not matter in this Game. Miami had just 1.8 yards per carry in last year’s meeting, but it’s hard to see that happening again as UNC is allowing 4.5 ypc and none of its three opponents can be considered good. Homer and Dallas both are averaging close to six yards per touch and they should run free in this Game. Just last weekend, the Heels gave up 228 rushing yards on 6.3 ypc to Pittsburgh. If the UNC run defense struggles again, it could be a long day as Miami’s defense could lock down Elliott and company.
Recent matchups have been close and that’s about the only thing going for North Carolina in this Game. If its run defense steps up, that’s another story, but so far it’s struggled against every opponent. If Miami can bottle up UNC’s ground Game that could also lead to a huge win for the Hurricanes.
Still, the Tar Heels have covered in their last Four Games and are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven overall. The Hurricanes are on the opposite end at 2-6 ATS in their last eight overall and 1-6 ATS in their last seven in Conference play. The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these schools and the underdog is 10-3-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
Our Pick – Miami -18