Bethune-Cookman vs Miami Odds, Picks: Letdown Spot for Hurricanes?

Bethune-Cookman vs Miami Odds, Picks: Letdown Spot for Hurricanes? article feature image

Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.

Bethune-Cookman vs Miami Odds

Thursday, September 14
7:30 p.m. ET
ACC Network
B-Cookman Odds
-105o / -115u
Miami (FL) Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The Miami Hurricanes just scored their first signature win of the Mario Cristobal era with a 48-33 triumph over Texas A&M.

After a painful 5-7 campaign last fall, the Canes looked like a Miami team of old, racking up 48 points and 451 total yards against a ranked SEC opponent. Now comes the hard part — an AP Top 25 ranking and expectations.

The Hurricanes have been nothing more than a mediocre ACC program for the past five years, posting a 35-28 straight-up record and a humbling 26-37 mark at the window dating back to 2018.

So, bettors should approach Miami and Cristobal with caution.

Speaking of Super Mario, he’s been anything but in spots coming off of a marquee win. Dating back to his time at Oregon, after a Cristobal-led team takes down a nationally-ranked opponent, his teams are just 2-4 against the spread in the following game.

Can Bethune-Cookman keep that trend going with new head coach Raymond Woodie Jr. leading the way, or will the Canes cover this massive number at Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday night?

Let's dive into the odds and find a pick for Bethune-Cookman vs. Miami in this Thursday night NCAAF betting preview.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

Call this my FCS PSA, but it's important to note the huge difference between a nationally-ranked team at that level and everyone else. From an overall quality standpoint, a ranked FCS team is akin to a minor bowl team at the FBS level.

But once you start venturing outside the FCS Top 25, things get hairy. Enter Bethune-Cookman, an HBCU in the midst of a rebuild.

The last time the Wildcats finished a season ranked was 2015, and the program was essentially driven into the ground by former coach Terry Sims. In his final two seasons in Daytona Beach, Sims finished with a record of 4-18.

Raymond Woodie Jr. was brought in after years of FBS coaching experience. Most recently, he coached linebackers at Oregon and Florida State and was an assistant head coach at FAU.

Woodie earned this opportunity, and after a humbling 56-14 opening loss to Memphis, his Wildcats rebounded with a 31-6 home win over Savannah State.

While the Wildcats have reasons for optimism offensively, namely JUCO transfer Luke Sprague at quarterback, their defense is the pits. Against Memphis, a high-functioning FBS offense, they allowed 551 total yards and 56 points. The Tigers moved the ball at will early on, scoring points on five of their first six drives.

I will give Bethune credit for gambling in the defensive backfield, picking veteran quarterback Seth Henigan off twice. The Cats also returned one of those interceptions for touchdowns.

But overall, this defense is patchwork at best and a complete sieve at worst.

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Miami Hurricanes

There was hope that Miami could turn things around in a hurry after it made splashy moves at both coordinator spots.

Shannon Dawson spent three years as a play-caller and two as a true offensive coordinator at Houston under Dana Holgorsen. His offenses were known as quarterback-friendly, helping Clayton Tune steadily improve from a game manager into a 40-touchdown superstar who is now on an NFL roster.

The early returns with Tyler Van Dyke indicate that Dawson is working his magic again. Last season, TVD was the definition of a JAG  — just a guy — as he amassed a QBR of 51.7 to rank 82nd nationally. Through two games with Dawson, he’s already cracked the top 10 in that metric (87, eighth), and he looked completely masterful against Texas A&M with 374 yards and five touchdowns.

Suffice it to say, the offense is humming and should continue to shred opponents until Clemson and Florida State come knocking later in the season.

Defensively, the Canes also made a change at coordinator by bringing in Lance Guidry. He came over from Marshall after a wildly successful stint with the Thundering Herd.

Marshall closed last season in the top 10 in 12 different defensive categories. It took the ball away 29 times (fifth), surrendered only 15 red-zone touchdowns (seventh) and fielded the nation’s best third-down defense.

Against Miami (OH) in the opener, the Canes defense was suffocating and got off the field on 10 of the RedHawks’ 12 third-down opportunities.

Now, their performance against an A&M team with Bobby Petrino calling the shots was far less impressive as they allowed 433 yards. But like a trademark Guidry defense, they won the day with three turnovers.

Bethune-Cookman vs Miami

Betting Pick & Prediction

Games like this squarely come down to motivation.

Last season, Miami opened its season and the Cristobal era against Bethune-Cookman and creamed the Wildcats, 70-13. That game was about sending a message that there was a new sheriff in town. It also came against a 2-9 Wildcat team with a lame-duck head coach.

The Wildcats' roster is better offensively this time around, and Miami won't have the same desire to send a message.

Toss in a short week for the Canes, and it's likely we see a letdown as they go from a season-defining win over an SEC team to playing in front of a sparse Hard Rock crowd that empties out after watching Bethune-Cookman's legendary band, "The PRIDE," at halftime.

Give me the points here.

Pick: Bethune-Cookman +53 (Play to 50)

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