College Football Odds & Pick for Miami (OH) vs. Minnesota: Betting Value on Saturday’s Underdog (Sept. 11)
Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Miami Red Hawks quarterback Brett Gabbert.
- The Minnesota Golden Gophers look to bounce back when they take on the Miami (OH) RedHawks in Week 2 college football action on Saturday.
- Minnesota suffered a loss to Ohio State last time out, and it also lost star running back Mohamed Ibrahim.
- Check out BJ Cunningham's full betting analysis and pick for the Big Ten/MAC battle below.
College Football Week 2 Odds
|Miami (OH) Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Miami (Ohio) travels to Minnesota on Saturday to face the Golden Gophers in a matchup of two teams looking for their first win of the season.
The Redhawks got their season off to a horrible start last Saturday, suffering a 49-14 blowout at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats.
They were without starting quarterback Brett Gabbert, who was in uniform but didn’t play due to injuries sustained during practice. This is the eighth year under Chuck Martin, who won eight games in 2019. However, Martin is only 32-46 as the RedHawks head coach.
Not having Gabbert running the offense was a huge detriment to the offense, as backup quarterback AJ Mayer only went 9 for 28 for 109 yards against one of the nation’s best defenses. However, Martin did say he expects Gabbert to return as the starter against Minnesota.
With Gabbert under center, the offense has one of the MAC’s best passing attacks. As a freshman in 2019, Gabbert threw for 7.6 yards per attempt and 11 touchdowns, winning the MAC freshman of the year award. He only started two games last season, but lit up Akron and Ball State for 11.0 yards per attempt and earned a 92 passing grade, per PFF.
Gabbert also has one of the MAC’s best receivers in Jack Sorenson, whom he targeted on 37.3% of his routes in 2019 and 2020. Sorenson averaged 14.87 yards per catch during those campaigns.
The rushing attack was terrible in three games last season, ranking 123rd in rushing success and gaining 3.8 yards per carry. The offensive line is a concern coming into the season, having lost their top two pass protectors. The good news is the Minnesota line isn’t the strength of its defense.
Miami’s secondary took a step back in a three-game sample size last season, giving up 9.3 yards per attempt and ranking 109th in coverage, per PFF.
However, the unit is expected to bounce back with only one starter gone from last season, plus it has one of the best safeties in the MAC in Sterling Weatherford. The secondary got torched by Desmond Ridder, who threw for four touchdowns and 11.8 yards per attempt.
The front seven loses just one starter from a defense that ranked second in Rushing Success Allowed and first in Havoc last season in its short sample size.
The RedHawks have an incredible pass rusher in Kameron Butler, who earned a 76.8 pass-rushing rating, per PFF last season and will be wreaking havoc in Minnesota’s backfield.
Minnesota lost its opening game to Ohio State, 45-31, after leading 14-10 at the half. The Golden Gophers also suffered an even bigger loss, with star running back Mohamed Ibrahim tearing an Achilles’ tendon. He is now out of the rest of the season.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers lose star running back Mohamed Ibrahim to a season-ending lower left leg injury, a major setback for a team hoping for a big bounce-back season. https://t.co/rawXH3BCQ5
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) September 7, 2021
This is now year five for PJ Fleck, who has turned the program around, but is in danger of a downturn after going 3-4 during the 2020 season. A loss or close game against Miami will definitely be a detriment to Minnesota’s upward trajectory.
Golden Gophers Offense
Tanner Morgan had a breakout season in 2019, but 2020 was a massive drop-off. In 2019, he threw the ball for 10.2 yards per attempt and had an 85.6 passing grade, per PFF. However, in 2020, his yards per attempt dropped to 7.5 and his passing grade dropped to 71.6, which was 58th in college football.
The reason for that was a switch in offensive coordinator to Mike Sanford Jr., whose offense doesn’t fit the strengths of Morgan, who thrived in Kirk Ciarrocca’s RPO system that gave him a lot of high-percentage throws.
The Gophers were without their top pass-catcher — Chris Autman-Bell — for the opener, who is also questionable to play in this game. Wide-receiver depth is a question mark for this Minnesota team after losing Rashad Bateman to the NFL. Now, with the loss of Ibrahim at running back, that’s going to put a lot of pressure on the passing game.
The loss of Ibrahim cannot be understated. Last season, he carried the ball 201 times in just seven games for 5.4 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns. He was First Team, All-Big Ten. Terry Potts now takes over as the lead back behind one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country, but the production is no doubt going to drop off without its star.
Golden Gophers Defense
The defense had all sorts of issues last season, especially in the front seven.
Minnesota ranked outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, rushing explosiveness allowed, Line Yards, Power Success Rate Allowed and Stuff Rate. I don’t know if you would call it good news, but the Golden Gophers only lost one starter from last season.
Ohio State ran all over them in the opener for 201 yards and 7.7 yards per carry, so it looks like things aren’t going to get better any time soon.
The secondary also had a lot of issues last season, ranking 116th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 81st in coverage, per PFF. They only lost one starter from last season, so there will be some continuity.
However, CJ Stroud averaged 13.4 yards per attempt in his first college start, so it doesn’t look like things are going to get better for defensive coordinator Joseph Rossi, who is outside the top 75 in EPA allowed per play (per PFF).
Miami (OH) vs. Minnesota Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Miami (OH) and Minnesota match up statistically:
Miami (OH) Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
Minnesota Offense vs. Miami (OH) Defense
Pace of Play / Other
If Gabbert is under center for Miami, I think it’s undervalued on the road.
Minnesota’s defensive issues clearly haven’t been sorted out, so the RedHawks should be able to move the ball both in the air and on the ground.
Even though Miami’s defense isn’t one of the best in the MAC, the loss of Ibrahim for Minnesota is too much to overcome and Morgan doesn’t t fit in Sanford Jr.’s offense.
Miami (OH) vs. Minnesota Betting Pick
This line opened at Minnesota -20.5, but is starting to fall as Miami is down to +18.5 at some books. However, there are still a couple +20s out there, specifically at Caesars, when it comes to the best odds.
I only have Minnesota projected as a -12.62 favorite, so I think there’s some value on the RedHawks at +20 and would play it down to +17 points.