It’s a prime time showdown for Miami and
Virginia who meet tonight.
opened as a -15 point favorite but the number has dropped to 13.5 in most
spots. The total opened at 48.5.
The Hurricanes will be looking for their
third straight win and a little payback after losing to the Cavs in the same matchup last year as a
-14 point favorite. Miami is 4-3 SU & ATS, 2-2 in conference play and 3-1
at home. The U is also on a 3-0 run against the spread in their last three
games overall and on Thursday nights. Miami played one of
its best overall games of the season last week beating Georgia Tech 24-7 and
covering as a -3 point favorite.
The Cavaliers who suffered a two touchdown
loss to North Carolina State in their last outing are 4-3 SU & 2-5 ATS, 1-2
in the ACC and 1-1 on the road. Virginia is also a money making 6-1 to the
‘under’ this season. The Cavs are coming off a 28-14 home loss to NC State as
-3 point favorites.
Miami has the better playmakers but both
teams have struck a nice balance between the pass and the run. Virginia is 36th
in the nation in rushing yardage (183.1) and while the passing game (224 yards
per game) is ranked 67th for a total yards average of 407. The
Hurricanes are putting up similar numbers; 154 on the ground and 227 through
the air. The difference tonight could be Canes QB Jacory Harris. The senior signal
caller has thrown for 1244 yards along with 12 touchdowns and four
interceptions. Unlike his first two years in Miami, when he was a walking,
talking turnover machine, he’s cut back on the mistakes.
RB Lamar Miller is averaging 114 yards and
leads the team with 799 rushing yards. He’ll likely find the sledding tough
against the Cavaliers who have the 12th best run defense in the nation (176
yards allowed per game).
Canes coach Al Golden says he’s pleased with
the improvement of his run defense which limited Georgia Tech to just 134 yards
last Saturday but can they keep Virginia’s RB trio of Perry Jones, Kevin Parks
and Clifton Richardson in check? Jones leads the team in rushing
yards with 576, Parks has a team high seven touchdowns while Richardson’s yards
per carry average of 5.9 is tops on the team.
How does Virginia's two-quarterback rotation
of Rocco and Watford, who've both played in every game, play out this week?
Rocco has thrown for 1186 but has eight interceptions and just four touchdowns.
The freshman Watford has completed just 42 percent of his passes and like Rocco
has more picks than scoring tosses. Coach Mike London says he’s altering the
platoon and will give Rocco more playing time but Watford will continue to
The Cavaliers had five interceptions in a
24-19 victory over the U in
Charlottesville last year covering as a two-touchdown underdog. The combined 43
points stayed well below the total of 51.5.
The 'Canes are 15-2 all-time on ESPN Thursday
night games while the Cavs are 2-6 ATS in the same category. Virginia has
failed to cover in 10 of its last 13 ACC games while Miami is 9-15-1 ATS as a
double-digit home favorite. The underdog is 6-1 ATS the last seven.
Miami has the better skill players, Virginia
the better defense against the run. Jacory Harris is better than either or both
of the Cavalier quarterbacks and will be the difference maker tonight. The
Hurricanes cover and the ‘under’ cashes and those are my final thoughts.
There’s still time for you to check in on
tonight’s ACC showdown. I’ve got Miami winning in a rout but maybe you see it
differently. Either way I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say about the
Hurricanes and Cavaliers. You’ll find our thread in the college football sub-forum of SBR