Southern Miss vs. Miami Odds & Picks: Offenses to Light Up Scoreboard (Sept. 10)

Southern Miss vs. Miami Odds & Picks: Offenses to Light Up Scoreboard (Sept. 10) article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.

  • The Southern Miss Golden Eagles travel to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes in Saturday college football action.
  • The Hurricanes enter as big favorites behind quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and head coach Mario Cristobal.
  • Check out Dan Keegan's full betting breakdown and top pick for Southern Miss vs. Miami below.

Southern Miss vs. Miami Odds

Saturday, Sept. 10
12 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Southern Miss Odds
-110o / -110u
Miami Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Both Southern Miss and Miami entered Week 1 with reasons for optimism after disappointing 2021 campaigns. 

Miami overhauled the coaching staff, hit the transfer portal and had high hopes for blue chip quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. The results couldn’t have been better in Week 1 with a blowout of Bethune-Cookman.

Southern Miss hit the transfer portal for Power Five impact transfers to strengthen an already competitive defense and hoped health and the development of Ty Keyes could stabilize last year’s quarterback disaster.

Unfortunately, Week 1 against Liberty was a nightmare for the Golden Eagles, as Keyes was injured and head coach Will Hall was forced to return to the Wildcat-only offense in the second half.

The Week 1 results could not have been more different for the two teams, and Miami is favored by a comfortable margin in the friendly confines of Hard Rock Stadium.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Southern Miss’ strength in Sun Belt play is a competent defense. It brought in impact SEC transfers to wreak Havoc from the defensive line and returned 10 contributors in the second and third levels.

The unit was impressive against Hugh Freeze’s Liberty offense last week, despite the eventual overtime loss. 

But Miami represents a much stiffer level of competition. 

Keyes will be a key to this game. He was injured in a helmet-to-helmet blow in the contest against Liberty and missed the rest of the game. If he's healthy and effective, his scrambling ability gives Southern Miss a fighting chance to keep the ball and extend drives.

If he's out, Southern Miss will either have to turn to the shaky Trey Lowe or the Super Back Wildcat system. Hall allowed Lowe to throw just one pass last week — it was intercepted — before turning to the Super Back in the second half. 

It moved the ball consistently with the Super Back in the second half after finding success — and two wins — with the Frank Gore Jr.-led Wildcat offense last November.

If Keyes is healthy and prepared, he offers a dual-threat advantage for the Southern Miss offense. If he isn’t, the Eagles could turn to the gadget offense with which they have had a lot of success in recent contests.

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Miami Hurricanes

Spirits are high in Coral Gables after a promising offseason and a thorough trouncing of FCS Bethune Cookman. 

The Hurricanes hung 70 on Saturday with ease and will return some key contributors for this Week 2 game.

This could be a dominant offense.

Tyler Van Dyke picked up where he left off last season, completing 13-of-16 passes for 193 yards and two scores. He developed chemistry with tight end Will Mallory, running back Henry Parrish and wide receiver Xavier Restrepo for crucial completions before enjoying the blowout from the sidelines.

The running game was dominant as expected against an FCS opponent, totaling 305 yards and recording 7.3 yards per carry. The Hurricanes should be even stronger this week, as stud left tackle Zion Nelson and running back Jaylan Knighton are both expected to play this week after missing the first game with minor injuries.

Despite the efforts Southern Miss has made to improve its defense for Sun Belt play, it's still a Group of Five unit. The ground game for Miami will be the best it'll face all season, and the Hurricanes should find success.

The regression of Miami's defense was the death knell for the Manny Diaz era. Head coach Mario Cristobal and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele know tightening things up on that side of the ball is critical for long-term success.

While I anticipate a stronger defense overall in 2022, Bethune-Cookman picked at a weak spot in the Miami defense and created plays with mobile quarterbacks. Wildcats signal-callers posted three runs over 10 yards on Saturday and totaled 52 yards on six scrambles.

An X-factor in the game is Miami's electric returner, Key’Shawn Smith. He returned three kickoffs on Saturday for 42, 66 and 70 yards.

Southern Miss vs. Miami Betting Pick

Southern Miss has an offense that's troubled right now, but there's a specific weakness in the Miami defense it will exploit.

Miami’s offense promises to be explosive and reliable this season, even against an underrated Southern Miss defense. When it has the ball, it will possess a clear talent advantage and will find ways to score thanks to the explosive passing game and efficient running game.

The kickoff return game will also provide them with short fields and maybe even a score.

With all factors considered, I like this game to go over the total. I’ll play it at 51.5 and up to 53.5.

Pick: Over 51.5 (Play to 53.5)

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