Miami-Wisconsin Betting Guide: Canes Least-Popular Favorite in Recent Bowl History

Miami-Wisconsin Betting Guide: Canes Least-Popular Favorite in Recent Bowl History article feature image

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jonathan Taylor

2018 Pinstripe Bowl Betting Odds: Miami-Wisconsin

  • Odds: Miami -2.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 27
  • Location: New York, N.Y.
  • Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of Wednesday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time bowl odds and win probabilities on your bets.

Two teams that fell well short of expectations will meet in the Pinstripe Bowl just a year after facing off the Orange Bowl.

Wisconsin’s defense fall apart in 2018, while Miami could never figure out its quarterback troubles and lost four of its last six.

Odds Movement for Pinstripe Bowl

By Danny Donahue

With just 26% of bets at the time of writing, Miami would be the least popular bowl game favorite in our Bet Labs database (going back to 2005) if it doesn’t attract a few more bettors. Just 16% of actual dollars are behind the Hurricanes as well, whose spread is back to -3 after being listed at -3.5 for much of the month.

As if a contrarian favorite wasn’t unusual enough, this game also features a significantly contrarian over. Only 30% of bettors accounting for just 5% of dollars are backing the over, but this total is listed at its opening number at most books.

Trends to Know for Miami-Wisconsin

By John Ewing

Miami ranks seventh in S&P+ defense and has allowed 18.2 points per game. Since 2005, bowl teams allowing 20 or fewer points have gone 141-128-4 (52.4%) against the spread, but there is a sharp split between favorites and underdogs.

Good defenses that are expected to win, like the Canes, have gone 75-83-3 ATS, while underdogs with strong defenses are 66-45-1 ATS.

By Evan Abrams

Duke-Temple and Wisconsin-Miami play bowl games in back-to-back time slots and are the only college football teams coming off their last game where they lost the turnover battle by at least a margin of four. Since 2005, teams coming off games where they lost the turnover margin by at least 4, are 20-9 ATS (69%), covering the spread by 2.5 points per game.

Under Paul Chryst, Wisconsin has only played one previous game even off a -3 turnover margin before and that was back in 2015 and the Badgers won the next game by 10 points. Wisconsin is 7-2 ATS after losing the turnover margin by two or more under Chryst, covering the spread by 7.3 PPG.

Rosier Starting at QB For Miami

By Steve Petrella

Miami’s quarterback play has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. The Canes ranked 112th in S&P+ passing and never found an answer.

Malik Rosier retained his starting job to begin 2018 despite inefficiency to end last season. He didn’t improve, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt and completing 53.5% of his passes with a 6/5 TD/INT ratio. He was replaced by N’Kosi Perry in late September, but Rosier will start the Pinstripe Bowl.

Perry wasn’t any better. He averaged 5.9 yards per attempt and completed 51.9% of his passes. He only completed more than 15 passes in two contests.

Is Miami Prepared for Bad Weather?

By Stuckey

Keep an eye on the weather, as the cold conditions (it’s expected to be in the high 30s in New York) could really favor Wisconsin. This is a warm weather Miami team that would have much rather played in Florida or Texas… or even the Bahamas.

Just take a look at the two games Miami played in the 30s/low 40s this season: at Georgia Tech and at Boston College. It lost both. And the last two bowl games it played in the cold: 2015 vs Washington State and 2010 vs. Notre Dame… also two losses.

Miami Without Top Run Stuffer

By Steve Petrella

Stuckey will get into how Miami can slow Wisconsin’s running game, but the Canes will have to do it without the injured Gerald Willis.

Willis, a second-team All-American, had 18 tackles for loss and four sacks this season.

Strength vs. Strength in Run Game

By Stuckey

Wisconsin might have the best rushing offense in the country. The Badgers average 6.3 yards per carry, which ranks fourth in the nation. And S&P+ actually ranks them No. 2 overall and in efficiency.

Why are they so successful? Well, they have one of the nation’s best backs in Jonathan Taylor, who leads the FBS with 1,989 rushing yards. They also have a dominant run blocking offensive line. Look no further than their ranks in both Opportunity Rate (No. 1) and Stuff Rate (No. 1), per S&P+.

Well, Miami — LB U — has the personnel to contain the Wisconsin rushing attack. The Hurricanes rank in the top 10 in both Opportunity Rate (No. 8) and Stuff Rate (No. 2) on the defensive side of the ball.

The Canes only allowed a minuscule 3.3 yards per rush this season, which ranks 11th in the country. Take a look at the results of Miami’s games this season against the two offenses it faced this season that ranked in the top 15 in yards per attempt:

  • GT season average 5.7 ypr: Miami held it to 4.3
  • Pitt averages 5.6: Miami held it to 1.8

Miami can limit the Wisconsin rushing attack and force the Badgers into third and long passing situations, which spells disaster for the Badgers, especially without quarterback Alex Hornibrook.

Miami’s elite pass defense, which ranks No. 5 in pass yards per attempt (5.5) and in the top 10 of almost every basic and advanced metric, should thrive in those situations. It also will allow its elite defensive front to get all kinds of pressure on the quarterback (No. 2 in Adjusted Sack Rate).

As a result, the Miami defense should be able to force a few key turnovers. There’s a reason they are No. 1 in overall Havoc Rate, including No. 2 along the defensive front. Disaster looms for a Wisconsin offense that surprisingly ranks outside the top 90 in Adjusted Sack Rate.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

Stuckey may already have our biggest question answered in this contest — can the Miami run defense stop Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor? According to last year’s Orange Bowl, that answer is yes. Although Taylor went for over 100 yards, the Wisconsin offense was held to 142 yards on 3.2 yards per carry.

Those numbers were pedestrian for the Badgers and Taylor, who went for almost 2,000 yards. Wisconsin was held without a touchdown on the ground, relying on quarterback Alex Hornibrook to throw for four touchdowns.

The biggest difference with Wisconsin over the past 12 months is inefficiency on defense. The defensive backs were fourth in overall havoc in 2017 compared to 83rd in 2018. This should give Miami quarterback Malik Rosier plenty of opportunity to make throws, particularly against a Wisconsin defensive line that is 116th in passing downs sack rate.

Miami is just as good on defense as it was in 2017, but a passing S&P+ rank of ninth and a defensive back unit that ranks 17th in havoc should help the Hurricanes extract revenge against a new quarterback in Jack Coan after Hornibrook went down with an injury.

Collin’s Pick: Miami -3.5

By Stuckey

I agree with Collin. Not only do I think Miami can contain Taylor, which will allow its defensive line to pressure the quarterback, but I also think Miami can actually have some success of its own in the rushing attack.

I think this game will be decided on third downs. These are two slightly above average third down offenses. Miami’s conversion rate sits at 41.6% (48th), which is slightly better than Wisconsin’s 40.8% (52nd). However, Miami has a significantly better third down defense.

Miami’s defense ranks No. 1 in the nation in third down conversion rate, allowing teams to convert on only 23.7% of attempts. Wisconsin’s defense ranks 60th at 38.3%.

Miami also won’t be at a huge disadvantage in the special teams department, which has hurt it this year at times. Wisconsin has been even more dreadful.

In regards to the total, I’d look at the under. Each team is below average when it comes to Adjusted Pace.

Stuckey’s Pick: Miami -3.5

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Action Newsletter
Sign Up >
The top betting news and picks for all the big games delivered directly to your inbox daily.
Action Podcasts
Listen >
The award-winning Action Network Podcast covers all angles of betting and DFS from industry-leading pros.
Betting 101
Bet Smarter >
New to betting? No sweat. Check out our betting education hub, which ranges from beginner tips to advanced strategies.
Sports Betting Legalization
Predictions >
When will sports betting be legal in your state? Check our our projections for all 50 states.
Betting Calculators
Try Now >
Easily calculate your winnings for straight bets and parlays using American, Decimal, or Fractional odds.
Expert Picks
Best Bets >
See all of the bets Action Network experts are making in real-time, covering the big games and the hidden gems.

Top Stories