Miami vs. Virginia Betting Odds & Pick: Bet the Hurricanes to Topple the Cavaliers (Saturday, Oct. 24)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Miami QB D’Eriq King.
Miami vs. Virginia Odds
|Miami Odds||-13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Virginia Odds||+13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+370/-500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||54 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 8 p.m. ET|
This is a game between two teams going in totally opposite directions.
Coming off a disappointing 6-7 season, Miami has started 4-1 and bounced back from a loss at Clemson with a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh last week. Virginia, on the other hand, is fresh off a 9-5 season and an ACC Championship appearance but sits at 1-3 after dropping three straight games.
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The Miami offense was just brutal last season, ranking 90th in scoring and 98th in total yards. The Hurricanes have quickly turned things around in Year 2 under Manny Diaz, sitting 24th in scoring offense and 37th in yards per game.
The biggest reason for the improvement can be attributed to transfer quarterback D’Eriq King. Through five games, King has totaled 1,076 yards and 10 touchdowns passing, as well as 272 yards and two touchdowns rushing. While King struggled against Clemson — as most quarterbacks do — he bounced back last week to throw for 222 yards and four touchdowns against a stout Pittsburgh defense.
Miami has done a great job at finishing drives, sitting 11th in points per opportunity and have scored on 16 of its 17 trips to the red zone. The Canes also have one of the best kickers in the country in Jose Borregales, who is 8-for-8 on field-goal attempts.
Even with the Clemson game ballooning a lot of stats against the Miami defense, it still ranks 16th in SP+, 13th in defense efficiency and 23rd in points allowed. Similar to Virginia, the strength of this Miami defense is the front seven. The Hurricanes rank third in the country in tackles for loss, 13th in sacks and 12th in Stuff Rate. Even with projected top-10 pick Gregory Rousseau opting out, the Canes defense ranks 16th in Havoc Rate, led by defensive end Quincy Roche, who has totaled 2.5 sacks and leads the country with 9.5 tackles for a loss this season.
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) October 17, 2020
You can make an argument that no single player was more important to their team last season than Bryce Perkins was for Virginia.
The quarterback threw for 3,530 yards and 22 touchdowns and ran for another 769 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brennan Armstrong started the season as the Wahoos’ starting quarterback, but as of this writing remains in concussion protocol after taking a big hit against NC State.
Lindell Stone has replaced Armstrong as Virginia’s quarterback, and while it’s very hard not to love a 240-pound QB who wears No. 36, he hasn’t been very effective. Stone completed just 57.1% of his pass attempts for 193 yards and two interceptions against Wake Forest last week.
The Cavaliers’ strength is their offensive line — the unit ranks 11th in Stuff Rate and sixth in Line Yards (per Football Outsiders) — but they lack the talent at skill positions, ranking 44th with just 158.8 rushing yards per game.
The Virginia defense has been whatever is the opposite bend-don’t-break. SP+ ranks the Cavaliers’ defense 39th in the country, and while it actually ranks in the top 20 in Defense Success Rate, it’s in the bottom 20 in scoring defense, allowing 34.8 points per game.
The Wahoos have been very solid against the run, ranking 23rd and allowing just 3.6 yards per carry and sit 13th in Line Yards Allowed. The Cavaliers have been vulnerable in the passing game, ranking just 62nd with 277 passing yards allowed per game.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
Virginia is probably a better team than its record indicates and has good enough offensive and defensive lines to keep this game close early on.
The biggest mismatch in this game comes down to generating big plays. The Virginia offense ranks 60th in offensive explosiveness and has just 12 plays of more than 20 yards and only three of more than 30 yards this season. The Miami offense ranks second in the country in offensive explosiveness and has found success generating big plays through rushing (second) and passing (21st).
This will be a serious issue for a Virginia defense that ranks dead last in the country in allowing explosiveness and has given up 28 plays of more than 20 yards, 14 of more than 30 yards and five of more than 40 yards. The Hurricanes will be able to generate enough Havoc on defense and enough explosive plays on offense to comfortably pull away from the Cavaliers.
Pick: Miami -12.5 (up to -14)