Miami vs. Pittsburgh Betting Odds & Pick: Hurricanes, Panthers Both Looking to Rebound (Saturday, Oct. 17)

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Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Paris Ford and Damar Hamlin

Miami vs. Pittsburgh Odds

Miami Odds -13 [BET NOW]
Pittsburgh Odds +13 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -480/+350 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 47.5 [BET NOW]
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV ACC Network

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Miami enters this game after being decimated by Clemson, 42-17. The Hurricanes were outgained by 340 yards against the No. 1 team in the nation while committing three turnovers.

Pittsburgh is looking to end its losing ways after suffering a surprising 31-30 loss to the upstart Boston College Eagles. After starting 3-0, the Panthers have suffered back-to-back losses and allowed at least 30 points in both contests. They’ll look to get back to their roots against a run-heavy attack. 

In a game that features an offense that was exposed, against a defense that was somewhat exposed, the value still lies with the total.


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Miami Hurricanes

After a 6-7 debut season, Manny Diaz has the Hurricanes off to a 3-1 start to the 2020 campaign. And while a lopsided loss to Clemson may have exposed the ceiling for the Hurricanes, they still remain one of the best teams in the ACC. 

The 52-point performance against Florida State may have generated some buzz about the Miami offense, but looks can be deceiving. Miami averages just 69.3 offensive plays per game, which ranks 43rd in the country. It also runs the ball on 51.9% of those plays. And what stands out most about this Hurricane offense is the inconsistency that has led to the 16th-worst Success Rate nationally. 

Against Clemson, the Hurricane offense was held to a Success Rate of just 18.5%, which brings its season average to 37.9%. And while the Clemson game may appear to be an outlier performance, the same could likely be said about the Florida State game. The Hurricane offense posted a Success Rate of 53% against the Seminoles, and through four games, it’s the only game in which it has eclipsed 40%. 

Defensively, the Hurricanes are better than they showed against Clemson. They rank 14th in defensive SP+ and create the 16th-most Havoc. They’re forcing an average of 1.8 turnovers per game, and against Pickett, there will likely be a turnover chain sighting in this game.

Pittsburgh Panthers

The last two games have somewhat “exposed” a Pittsburgh defense that ranks among the best in the nation. After being ranked as high as fifth in defensive SP+, the Panthers dropped six spots in two weeks. 

But if you’re looking for reasons to remain optimistic about the defense despite the bad outcomes, you just have to look at where it struggled. While NC State and Boston College both had success rates over 40% on passing plays, Pitt still held them to 25% and 30.5% Success Rates on rushing plays, respectively. In those two performances, the Panther defense still had stuff rates over 20%, and for the season, its 32.3% stuff rate ranks fourth-best and allows the second-fewest line yards per play.  

Even beyond its play against the run, the Pitt defense still ranks fourth-best in yards per play and best in total Havoc rate. Its 52 tackles for a loss sits eight higher than the next best, and the 10.4 per game average ranks third, below three teams with four combined games. Pitt is likely to create significant Havoc along its defensive line with Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones, which will present turnover opportunities.

The Pitt offense runs the ball on 50.9% of their 77.0 plays per game, and that percentage may rise significantly if it’s without starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. While Pickett was an unexciting option, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt, the change at QB would represent a sizable drop-off in experience. 

As a whole, the Pittsburgh offense is generally underwhelming. It’s below average in both Rushing and Passing Success Rate and gets stuffed on nearly 30% of rushing plays. And while Pittsburgh is known for creating defensive Havoc, it allows the 10th-most Havoc on offense.


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Betting Analysis & Pick

Pitt’s defense may not be the juggernaut it appeared to be during the first three games of the year, but in this matchup, it’ll be playing to its strengths. Miami’s running game was largely taken away against Clemson, and when the Canes were forced into a passing offense, D’Eriq King’s limitations were exposed. 

If the defensive matchup wasn’t enough, the weather forecast will almost certainly turn this into a run-heavy game. With sustained crosswinds ranging from 13-15 miles per hour, a sustained passing attack will be hard to come by. So, for all of those reasons, I’m playing under 48.5 and would play it down to 45.5.

Pick: Under 48.5 (down to 45.5)

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