College Football Picks: Smart Money on Miami -6 & 'Under' 51 vs. Virginia Tech

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 10:00 PM GMT

It's a big game in the ACC's race on Saturday between unranked Virginia Tech & Miami Florida, two disappointing clubs this season. Go inside our article to find the college football pick.

Al Golden's Seat Boiling Hot
I kid you not: Miami might fire coach Al Golden after this game if the Hurricanes are blown out at home. Planes have been flying banners that say "Fire Al Golden" or the like at every UM home game and even some road games this year. If Miami (3-2, 0-1 ACC) loses this game, it's going to be nearly impossible to win the Coastal Division and that's probably all that saves Golden. The Hurricanes' next two games are against ranked teams -- vs. No. 5 Clemson and at No. 25 Duke -- and they still have to go to  North Carolina and Pitt.

Golden would have taken a ton of pressure off last week had Miami been able to snap a five-game losing streak against arch-rival Florida State, but the No. 12 Seminoles won a back-and-forth affair 29-24. UM took the lead with 10:02 left on a Brad Kaaya 29-yard touchdown pass to Stacy Coley, but UM couldn't stop Noles running back and Miami native Dalvin Cook at all as he finished with 222 yards and three scores, including the winner with 6:44 left. It was the second straight year that Cook was the key in an FSU comeback win over Miami.

Despite a shaky offensive line, Kaaya was fantastic, completing 29-for-49 for 405 yards (most by UM quarterback against FSU since 1980), three scores and no picks. Coley had his best game of the year if not career with seven catches for 139 yards and a score -- he has missed a few games this year due to injury. But UM couldn't run the ball at all (there's that offensive line again) with 20 yards on 19 carries.

Miami is 3-2 against the spread this season on college football odds and 2-3 'over/under.' The Hurricanes are 21-8 at home under Golden and have won 15 of their last 18 games at Sun Life Stadium.

 

QB Controversy With Virginia Tech?
Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1) is largely in the same boat as Miami as a loss would be a killer for any Coastal Division hopes. After this game, Tech hosts No. 25 Duke, at Boston College, at Georgia Tech, home to North Carolina and at Virginia. So win this game, and it's not impossible the Hokies could run the table as that's not an incredibly hard schedule. The Hokies caught a huge break this season in not playing either Florida State or Clemson from the Atlantic Division.

The Hokies ended a two-game losing streak last Saturday with probably their most impressive game of the season, a 28-13 win over visiting NC State. Brenden Motley threw three touchdown passes to Isaiah Ford -- first Tech receiver with three TDs since 2002 -- and the Hokies rushed for 200 yards as they avoided their first 0-2 conference start since joining the ACC. The Tech defense held Wolfpack QB Jacoby Brissett to just 113 yards and his streak of pass attempts without a pick ended at 241.

As good as Motley was vs. the Wolfpack, it's not clear if he starts this game. That's because Michael Brewer is likely to be cleared to play. He started Week 1 vs. Ohio State but broke his collarbone. Motley has started since. He has completed 78-for-140 for 1,019 yards, 10 TDs and five picks. Last year, Brewer threw for 2,692 yards, 18 TDs and 15 picks.

Virginia Tech is 3-3 ATS on college football picks this season and 4-2 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
Miami was a 2.5-point favorite last season in Blacksburg (total was 47.5) and the Canes played one of their best road games ever under Golden, a 30-6 thrashing of the Hokies. Duke Johnson, now a rookie with the Cleveland Browns, rushed for 249 yards and two touchdowns. It was 24-0 at the half -- UM outgained Virginia Tech 255-36 in that half -- and then Tech turned the ball over on its first three possessions after intermission. Kaaya didn't do much but didn't need to, completing 7-for-16 for 92 yards and a touchdown. Brewer was 13-for-20 for 80 yards for Virginia Tech, which lost at home to Miami for the first time since 2005. UM is 11-6 all-time at home vs. the Hokies in this series.

 

Final Analysis
Go with Miami, which is trying to avoid a four-game ACC losing streak for the first time dropping six straight from 2007-08. Also go 'under.' I expect turnovers to play a big role and UM's +9 turnover margin is tied for fifth-best in the nation. The Hokies are 6-14 ATS in their past 20 road games. The 'under' is 8-1 in Miami's past nine ACC games.

College Football Pick: Miami -6 & Under 51 at 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2823392, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]