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College Football Odds & Picks for Miami vs. NC State: Expect Plenty of Early Scoring

College Football Odds & Picks for Miami vs. NC State: Expect Plenty of Early Scoring article feature image

Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Moore.

Miami vs. NC State Odds

Miami Odds -10 [BET NOW]
NC State Odds +10 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -420 / +275 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 58.5 [BET NOW]
Time Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday night and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app.

Miami Hurricanes

The first half of Miami’s season can be considered a success after breaking in a new offensive coordinator for transfer quarterback D’Eriq King. The Canes sit at 5-1 this season — their only loss coming against Clemson — with a remaining schedule that includes Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Without Notre Dame on the schedule, Miami is still very much on track to make the ACC Championship game.

The Hurricanes get a boost offensively with the return of tight end Brevin Jordan. A shoulder injury took away one of King’s top weapons, as Jordan ranks second on the team in third-down targets. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee runs the Miami offense out of 12 personnel on 33% of snaps and had issues in Finishing Drives against Virginia. Jordan’s return liberates higher-value targets on third down and provides a great blocking piece on rushing attempts.

This block by Brevin Jordan pretty much sums up this Miami – Florida State game

— Billy Moy (@PFF_Billy) September 27, 2020

The signature of the Miami defense has always been Havoc. The Canes rank 16th in Defensive Havoc and continue to improve in the trenches with a rising rank in Line Yards. The concern is in the back seven with the pass defense. Pro Football Focus grades Miami as having the 69th-best coverage unit in FBS. Safeties Bubba Bolden and Gurvan Hall Jr. lead the team in missed tackles.

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NC State Wolfpack

The loss of quarterback Devin Leary to a broken fibula was most felt in the Wolfpack’s loss to North Carolina. Both Bailey Hockman and Ben Finley saw time at quarterback and combined to throw three total interceptions. Despite the turnovers, there was success offensively, as North Carolina State had two Explosive Drives and met the national average for drives with at least two first downs. If the Wolfpack can live up to its rank of 34th in Passing Success Rate, a clean turnover sheet may help NC State upset a few opponents.

The bad news for the Wolfpack comes on the defensive side of the ball. A rank of 84th in Finishing Drives derives from allowing opponents an average of 4.4 points per trip past the 40-yard line. NC State ranks 100th out of 103 active FBS teams in tackling grade, per PFF. A high percentage of those missed tackles come from the linebacker unit, which has been the point of attack for opposing passing games.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Manny Diaz acknowledges there’s an issue with Miami football when extra rest is involved. Diaz has been with the program since 2016, originally serving as defensive coordinator for head coach Mark Richt. Per our Bet Labs database, the Hurricanes have covered just one game when given at least eight days rest since 2018.

The one victory against the number came against Louisville on Sept. 19 after nine days off from a UAB victory. With increased awareness of this trend in the Miami program, there could be regression to the mean in such a short sample size during the Diaz era.

A brief look at the advanced statistics show plenty of advantages for Miami. A top-10 explosive rush attack should get to the linebacker level, where NC State has posted some of the worst tackling numbers in the nation. King has not had interruptions in scoring opportunities, with 19-of-21 red-zone attempts resulting in a score.

Our Action Network Projection has the side at Miami -12.5, while the Pace Report calls for the game to land at 57. The current market provides no value to the number, but any line at Miami -10 or North Carolina State +13 has the edge for those respective teams. Considering Miami’s awareness of bye-week issues, the first-half over is worth a flier. The Hurricanes scored on four of the first five drives in their last game off of a bye week (Louisville). Given the Wolfpack’s top-30 rank in pace of play, points should come early in this contest.

Pick: First-Half Over 30 or better

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