Virginia vs. Miami Odds & Pick: Wait, the Hurricanes Are Favored?

Virginia vs. Miami Odds & Pick: Wait, the Hurricanes Are Favored? article feature image

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michael Pickney

  • Our experts break down the Virginia vs. Miami game on Friday night, complete with their picks and live betting odds.

Virginia vs. Miami Odds

  • Spread: Miami -2.5
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Odds as of Thursday night and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The No. 20 team in the country, an underdog against a 2-3 team with its only wins coming over Central Michigan and Bethune Cookman?

Yep, that’s what we’ve got Friday night, and our power ratings agree.

Miami will look to get back in the ACC Coastal race when it hosts Virginia as a short favorite.

How are we betting this defensive slugfest? Let’s dive in.

Market Report for UVA-Miami

This will undoubtedly be the most heavily-bet game Friday night, and most of those bets are ending up on the same side. Virginia has taken in 68% of bets, and while that’s predictable given its ranking, you wouldn’t know it based on line movement.

The 32% of bettors on the Canes have been convincing enough to send this line from -1 to -2, and even -2.5 in some spots.

As for the total, it’s been the under drawing a majority of bettors and an even bigger majority of actual money. Sixty-two percent of tickets generating 87% of the loot has dropped this number from 46.5 to 43. — Danny Donahue

Stuckey: Reasons to Bet the Total

Why has Miami been such a dumpster fire to start the year? Well, it all starts with its offensive line, which has been an absolute disaster. It ranks…

  • 130th in sacks allowed (25)
  • 130th in passing down sack rate
  • 129th in sack rate
  • 123rd in tackles for loss allowed (45)

That’s not ideal going up against a Virginia team that brings pressure from all over. Virginia’s defense ranks…

  • Second in the nation with 4.8 sacks per game
  • First in hurries (93)
  • First in QB pressures (130)
  • Top 5 in passing down sack rate

The story is pretty similar for Virginia on offense — although not as drastic. UVA’s offensive line also has major issues, which the Miami defensive front (the strongest unit on the team) can certainly exploit.

The Hoos rank outside the top 100 in almost all of the same categories I mentioned that the Miami OL struggles with and they’ll be facing a Miami defense that excels at getting into opposing backfields.

How will either consistently move the ball through the air? I’m not sure. Plus, these are also two top 10 run defenses.

Unless we see a bunch of turnovers and/or special teams scores, I fancy this under 45 in what should be a hotly contested defensive battle. The scrambling ability of both Perry and Perkins might be each team’s best offense.

And if they get down to the redzone, both offenses have issues. We also have a matchup of two snails as both teams play super slow, especially Virginia, which finished 125th in Adjusted Pace last season.

Both squads don’t have the most reliable kickers in college football. And after an absolute disaster in the punting game last season when the Hurricanes finished DEAD LAST out of 130 teams in punt efficiency, their new Aussie punter has been much better this year. Miami ranks in the top 40 nationally with a 40+ net yards per punt average. Virginia ranks in the middle of the pack but has only allowed 1 punt return yard.

Give me the under 45 in a game that should be dominated by both defensive fronts. I’d play down to current number of 44. — Stuckey

Stuckey’s Pick: Under 45 or better

Collin: Miami’s Offense…Better Than You Think?

A quick peek of the havoc rankings for Virginia and Miami can be interpreted in only one way —  there will be blood. The Hurricanes and Cavaliers both rank top 25 in defensive havoc, while each offense ranks in the bottom 20 in havoc allowed.

These teams have combined for 16 offensive fumbles and 79 tackles for loss allowed. There is plenty of reason to believe Bryce Perkins, Jarren Williams, N’Kosi Perry and even Tate Martell — whoever is under center for Miami — may be in constant state of scramble during this game. Each offensive line ranks outside the top 100 in sack rate.

Perry was announced on Wednesday as the starter. The sophomore quarterback looked better than he did in 2018 with 422 yards and four touchdowns against Virginia Tech. Even in a loss to the Hokies, the Hurricanes racked up 285 more yards through the air. That is the stat that comes into play against the Cavaliers.

With games against Florida State, Notre Dame and Pitt, the Virginia defense has yet to face a passing attack like Miami, as strange as that sounds. The Hurricanes are 11th in passing yards per game and rank 12th in the nation in receptions of 20 yards or greater despite a porous offensive line.

As much as I express my displeasure with former Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos, the Miami coordinator has improved the Hurricanes offense from a 2018 rank of 95th in passing plays over 20 yards.

While the Virginia front seven continues to create havoc and lock down rushing attacks, it’s the deep ball that has been kryptonite for the Cavaliers. Miami generated explosiveness on 13% of passes, leading the ACC so far this season. Virginia has one of the lowest ranks in defending pass explosiveness in conference.

In a game that should be close, look for any moneyline around -130.

Pick: Miami ML (-130)

How would you rate this article?