Miami vs. Virginia Odds, Picks, Preview: Your Betting Guide for Thursday’s ACC Matchup (Sept. 30)

Miami vs. Virginia Odds, Picks, Preview: Your Betting Guide for Thursday’s ACC Matchup (Sept. 30) article feature image
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Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Brennan Armstrong.

Miami vs. Virginia Odds

Miami Odds -4.5 (-115)
Virginia Odds +4.5 (-105)
Moneyline -210 / +175
Over/Under 62.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. With Clemson looking more vulnerable than ever in its recent showings, the ACC is truly anyone’s conference to take this year.

Not only is this matchup an inner conference matchup, but a divisional one as well.

Virginia wasn’t on anyone’s radar to win the Coastal Division heading into this season. With how weak nearly everyone is looking, it truly can be anyone’s title to claim.

Now, the Cavaliers travel to Miami in a showdown to get back on track.

After starting 2-0, Virginia lost a halftime lead against North Carolina and was handled by Wake Forest. Sitting 2-2 and at the bottom of the ACC Coastal, Virginia looks to make a climb up the standings in a weakened division.

Miami, meanwhile, was a favorite pick to win the Coastal going into this season.

Starting off with a brutal matchup against Alabama to start the season, the Hurricanes have been a roller coaster of a team since. Barely squeaking by App State, and exposed by Michigan State, Miami looks to turn things around after a beatdown of Central Connecticut State.


Miami vs. Virginia Betting Preview

Thursday, Sept. 30
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Offense

With D’Eriq King still questionable, the Miami offense will be looking for answers between the likes of Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia. Both split duties at the quarterback position last week, combining for 417 yards and five touchdowns.

It’s hard to judge their performances, as they were given a cupcake game to display their talents. While they look to battle once more, Miami will have to rely on its backfield.

Lead running back Cam’Ron Harris will look to shred the Cavalier defense, already running for 272 yards and three touchdowns this season.

The offensive line will need to improve if it wants to be more of a threat on the ground, ranking 124th in Line Yards and 97th in Rush Success. Luckily for Miami, Virginia has a very poor rush defense, so this can be a “get-right” game for the Miami backfield.


Miami Defense

Ranking low in nearly every metric, the Miami defense has been awful this season. The Canes may be in a world of hurt going against Virginia’s passing attack.

Their inability to get to the quarterback is giving opposing quarterbacks more time in the pocket to shred the secondary. Ranking 86th in Def. Pass Rush and 99th in Def. Pass Success, the Hurricanes will need to find a way to disrupt Armstrong and force him to make mistakes.

Not only can they not bring down the quarterback, but they also can’t make a tackle in the open field. This is a huge concern, as they rank 129th in PFF tackling.

With poor tackling comes with poor Def. Finishing Drives. The Miami defense ranks 121st in that metric and is letting opposing offenses put up points when they get past the 40.


Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Offense

If Virginia is going to seize the opportunity of a depleted conference, it will need to rely on the success of its offense — specifically its passing attack, led by quarterback Brennan Armstrong.

Armstrong has thrown for 1,705 yards, 13 touchdowns, and three interceptions this season. He has been shredding opposing secondaries, resulting in an Off. Pass Success Rate of ninth in the nation.

With great pass protection — the team ranks 36th in pass blocking — Armstrong has had extra time to create the big play. Virginia is big gain-heavy, ranking fourth in big plays. This is because Armstrong has talented targets to throw to, with three different receivers averaging over 17 yards per reception.

Wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks has been one of Armstrong’s favorite targets. Hauling in 22 receptions for 460 yards and four touchdowns,  Wicks will be a key target for Armstrong in an effort to keep producing big plays for the Cavalier offense.

Virginia will look to exploit Miami’s weak pass defense to keep this game close.


Virginia Defense

While Virginia’s offense is respectable, the defense is a different story. This is a unit that needs to improve — and improve fast — if it wants to keep this game from getting out of hand early.

Its defense correlates to how its season has gone so far.

The Cavaliers defense handled William & Mary and Illinois to start the season. In their two following losses, the Virginia defense was torched by the high-powered UNC pass attack and a Wake Forest team that is poised to make it to the ACC Championship game.

The numbers are potentially skewed as UNC blew the doors off them, but they’re still eye-popping nonetheless. The Cavalier defense ranks 90th or worse in every defense metric in the matchup matrix below.

Luckily for the Cavaliers defense, Miami’s offense hasn’t impressed so far this season.

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Miami vs. Virginia Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Virginia and Miami match up statistically:

Virginia Offense vs. Miami Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 64 103
Line Yards 27 46
Pass Success 9 99
Pass Blocking** 36 86
Big Play 4 62
Havoc 59 86
Finishing Drives 69 121
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Miami Offense vs. Virginia Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 97 99
Line Yards 124 118
Pass Success 64 94
Pass Blocking** 38 114
Big Play 39 103
Havoc 83 111
Finishing Drives 117 95
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 46 129
PFF Coverage 107 112
Middle 8 27 31
SP+ Special Teams 119 39
Plays per Minute 26 7
Rush Rate 37.7% (126) 49.% (101)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


What sticks out to me right away is Finishing Drives.

While Virginia has an average Off. Finishing Drives rating, both teams are very poor at stopping teams past the 40. This could lead to points being scored in bunches, especially with both leaning toward the passing game.

This is a very key reason why I have my eyes set on a total.


Miami vs. Virginia Betting Pick

Our PRO Projections put this spread around Miami -6. This is right in line with the current market number around Miami -5.5 or -6.  Additionally, I want to see how the Miami quarterbacks look going against a step up in talent.

With that said, my attention is on the total. It’s not on the full-game total, however, as we have that projected it in line with the current number, but I’m interested in Virginia’s team total.

With Miami having a very poor pass defense, this will give Armstrong plenty of opportunities to shred the Hurricanes defense. With little fear of the defensive line generating pressure, Armstrong will have ample time to make the right read.

Virginia will look to move the ball at ease, as Miami is very poor at making a tackle in the open field. Expect points if the Cavaliers get past the Canes’ 40, as Miami has not been able to keep teams from scoring with a poor Def. Finishing Drives rate.

Play Virginia’s team total over 27.5 or better, as I believe it should score at will against the Miami defense.

As Miami figures out its quarterback situation, I will also look for a live add-on for the full-game over if it dips into the mid-50s.

Pick: Virginia Team Total Over 27.5

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