Miami Gets Right At Home Saturday Against North Carolina

This is a good buy-low spot on the Miami Hurricanes (3-2, 0-0 in ACC) who are hosting the North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1, 1-0 in ACC) Saturday in Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami got embarrassed 45-31 by the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Sept. 24 as 25.5-point favorites at home. It was Miami’s second straight defeat after losing a non-conference, primetime showdown at the Texas A&M Aggies 17-9 on Sept. 17.

UNC bounced back from a 45-32 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish two weeks ago to wallop the Virginia Hokies 41-10 Saturday. Tar Heels QB Drake Maye leads the ACC in passing yards, touchdowns and passer efficiency rating.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

BET: Miami -3.5 (-110)

Miami head coach Mario Cristobal. (Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fade the recency bias with Miami

Miami’s previous game was your standard let-down spot albeit was against the non-Power 5 school. The Hurricanes lost a big, out-of-conference game against a beatable Texas A&M team.

Then Hurricanes QB Tyler Van Dyke threw a first-quarter pick-six to put Middle Tennessee State up 10-0 and Miami’s defense mailed it in. Middle Tennessee went on to throw touchdown passes of 71, 69, and 98 yards. 

Miami’s defense was tired from carrying too much of the load and couldn’t cover up for a bad offense two weeks ago. Or didn’t want to or was too fatigued to. Whatever.

Point is, the Hurricanes got a much-needed bye last week. Miami has the opportunity to right the ship with a big home win against a conference foe.

Hurricanes first-year head coach Mario Cristobal was 7-3 ATS after a bye as coach of the Oregon Ducks from 2017-21 before taking over the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes have an edge in the trenches

As long as the Hurricanes can get back to doing what they do best — running the ball and defense — then Miami will be in good shape. 

Miami has the highest rushing success rate in the ACC and UNC’s defense has the second-worst rushing success rate in the conference. UNC has an explosive offense and Miami’s defense obviously got torched in its previous game.

But, again, Miami got the bye week to sort its sh*t out. Also, Miami has the rush defense to force UNC into converting a lot of 3rd-and-longs. The Hurricanes are seventh in sack rate in the country whereas the Tar Heels are 74th in sack rate allowed.

The Hurricanes allow the second-fewest line yards per snap with the fifth-best defensive rushing success rate. While the Tar Heels are just 59th in line yards gained per snap with the 77th-ranked offensive rushing success rate.

These strengths are why Miami has a better net success rate (+17.7% to -1.4%) and net Havoc rate (+7.1% to -2.7%) than UNC. If the Hurricanes can control the pace with their ground game and disrupt Maye in passing situations, then Miami will win by margin.

Public dogs get slaughtered

Everyone is off Miami after two bad performances. According to VSIN, nearly 75% of the money at DraftKings Sportbooks is on UNC ATS at the time of publishing. Circa Sports in Las Vegas — a market-making, “sharp” sportsbook — opened this game with Miami laying five points.

All the pro-UNC money made Miami cheaper. This is a great spot to get on the same side as the oddsmakers since they usually beat the public. Especially when we and the sportsbooks are rooting for the more efficient team.

Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and BET the MIAMI HURRICANES -3.5 (-110).

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, Oct. 7 at 3:35 a.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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