Miami (FL) Hurricanes Win Total: O/U 9
It’s all about the U! Or at least it was in the ’90s and early 2000s. The Hurricanes were the pinnacle of college football at this time, competing nationally and putting players in the NFL at the rate Alabama and Ohio State are currently. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hurricanes have had only one 10+ win season. Sportsbooks must like the chances of Miami coming back because this betting line would require Miami to buck the trend of the last 15+ years.
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Alabama (9/4 Atlanta, GA)
Quite the scheduling gift when trying to reach double-digit wins, the Hurricanes open up on the road against defending national champion Alabama. The Tide ran through the 2020 season with ease for the most part but replaced five first-round draft picks on offense. Sophomore quarterback Bryce Young takes over and is the highest-rated quarterback recruit Alabama has signed under Nick Saban.
If there’s a bright side, Miami gets Alabama early before they have a chance to hit their stride on offense under new coordinator Bill O’Brien. BetOnline and BetUS have the Tide as three score favorites (-18.5), and Alabama has not lost a neutral site season opener under Nick Saban.
At North Carolina (10/16)
The Hurricanes avoid playing Clemson this year, so their biggest challenge within the conference shapes up to be North Carolina. Mack Brown has the Tar Heels trending in the right direction showing improvements in his first two seasons in Chapel Hill. Quarterback Sam Howell plays a big part in that, as the preseason ACC player of the year suits up for his third season as a starter.
UNC ran for 556 yards in a massive blowout against the ‘Canes last season, but Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, last year’s running backs, are playing on Sundays this year. Despite last year’s 62-26 score, the Tar Heels are only a 2.5 point favorite at home per BetOnline.
At Florida State (11/13)
The Seminoles have had more recent success than the Hurricanes, particularly under coach Jimbo Fisher, but he’s coaching Texas A&M now, and that success is about 6 years removed. The Seminoles have struggled since, having dropped the last 4 games against Miami after a previous run of 7 straight wins. Mike Norvell’s first season as head coach was not what fans would have hoped, but the ‘Noles have their first full offseason under the new staff to see if they can right the ship. Miami is currently the road favorite at -9.5 on BetOnline.
Manny Diaz’s team returns the most production of any team in the country on the offensive side of the ball. However, that’s all predicated on the health of graduate quarterback D’Eriq King. King suffered a torn ACL late in the season last year but is expected to be ready to go by their week one matchup with Alabama. Hard to imagine that King will be at full strength from the get-go, but his availability gives Miami a chance to reach their lofty win total on the season.
Sportsbooks tend to think King bounces back just fine as he’s got the sixth-best odds to win the Heisman (+1200 Bovada). The defense loses pass rushers Jaelen Phillips, Quincy Roche, and 2020 opt-out Gregory Rousseau, two of which were first-round draft picks. Safety Bubba Bolden gives the Hurricanes defense an attitude and playmaking on the back end.
This is one where two of the sportsbooks see the betting lines slightly different. BetUS has Miami’s over/under set at 9 wins (Even), while Bovada has the line at 9.5 wins (+160). Under 9 wins seems like the play here. The games against Alabama and North Carolina likely make it, so the ‘Canes have to play a flawless remainder of the season to hit the over on this bet.
The schedule sets up to make this a possibility, but it’s likely Miami drops an additional game. King’s playmaking is aided by his running ability, and it will likely take some time for that part of his game to return to normalcy.
Miami (FL) ACC Coastal Division Winner
Bovada has the ‘Canes with nearly equal odds (+135) to North Carolina (+130) to win the Coastal Division. The face-off in Chapel Hill likely decides who represents the division in the conference championship game. Both teams have shown a tendency to drop a game they shouldn’t, but even if that happens, the winner of this game gets a game and a half lead on the other.
Miami (FL) ACC Conference Winner
Clemson is the favorite to win the conference again by an overwhelming margin (-750 Bovada), but the Tigers are as young as they’ve been in recent years at the skill positions. If the Hurricanes and King can improve as the season goes on and the rust gets shaken off, the +750 betting line could provide a chance to cash in on somewhat of a longshot.