Defenses to Control Virginia Tech-Miami ACC Coastal Showdown?

miami defense

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 2, 2017 6:51 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 6:51 PM UTC

The best matchup on the Week 10 NCAAF odds board could be the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies visiting the No. 10 Miami Hurricanes. Will the ‘Canes remain undefeated?

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 50Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Something very interesting is happening in the ACC. The No. 10 Miami Hurricanes, undefeated at 7-0 SU and 3-4 ATS, host the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) this Saturday, kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC. This is a very important game for both clubs – especially the Hurricanes, who can take a step closer to the ACC Championship Game with a victory. But the ‘Canes are 2.5-point home dogs on the NCAAF odds board as we go to press. What what?!

That’s not what the projections say. FiveThirtyEight likes the Hurricanes to win 55 percent of the time; ESPN’s Football Power Index agrees. That works out to something like Miami –1.5 according to Wizard of Odds. So why have the college football lines flipped? And why do the consensus reports show a supermajority of bettors on Virginia Tech? Detectives, start your engines.

Tech Tech Boom

Well, those ATS records do tell a story. The Hokies have been the more successful college football pick, while Miami won its last four games by a combined 18 points, dropping the cash in each of the last three. There is something to be said for riding the hot hand; Virginia Tech is coming off back-to-back wins SU and ATS as double-digit home faves.

There isn’t much to separate these teams otherwise. Football Outsiders have Miami ranked No. 14 overall on their F/+ Ratings through Week 9, one spot ahead of the Hokies. Sports Reference also leans toward the Hurricanes with their Simple Rating System, with Miami leading the Coastal Division at 16.06 SRS and Virginia Tech, with the weaker schedule thus far, at 14.48 SRS. ESPN’s Brad Edwards and Seth Walder have the ‘Canes playing minus-0.82 Points Above Expectation at home, but that still leaves Miami as a plausible 3.5-point favorite on Saturday.

Coming Up Rosier

Surely there must be some kind of injury concern with the Hurricanes, yes? Here it is: QB Malik Rosier hurt his shoulder early on during last week’s 24-19 win over North Carolina (+21 at home). Rosier is expected to play Saturday, but he didn’t look quite right against the Tar Heels, and he won’t be 100 percent against the Hokies, either.

With that in mind, let’s avoid the spread and consider the UNDER on the posted total of 50 points, which hasn’t changed since the open despite 70 percent of early bettors jumping on board. Saturday’s weather forecast for Miami calls for partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures, which doesn’t help our cause, but the UNDER is 6-1 for the Hurricanes this year and 5-2-1 for VT. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

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