Pick Louisville -3 vs. Miami Fla. in Monday's College Football

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, August 28, 2014 8:19 PM GMT

Will the Miami Hurricanes be able to revenge last season’s embarrassing bowl loss to Louisville, and in doing so spoil the Cardinals ACC debut? Our sports betting guru examines this matchup and concludes his piece with a NCAA football free pick.

ACC Welcomes Louisville
The Louisville Cardinals will host the Miami Hurricanes at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Monday night. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN and Kickoff is slated for 8:00 PM ET. According to college football odds offered by Heritage, Louisville is a 3.0 point home favorite, and the posted total is 53.5. This will be the opening game of the season for both teams.

 

On a Golden Path
Head coach Al Golden has shown unwavering loyalty to the University of Miami for the opportunity they provided him. Golden had a chance to return to his alma mater (Penn St.) for this upcoming season but he declined the invitation. This will be his 4th year in charge of the Miami football program, and under his leadership the Hurricanes have gone 22-15. They’ve improved their win total in each of the past 3-seasons. Last season was Golden’s most successful at Miami Hurricanes as they finished the year 9-4. The Hurricanes have gone 8-7 SU and 10-5 ATS in true road games under Golden, including a profitable 7-3 ATS when cast into a role of an underdog.

 

Petrino Returns to his Old Stomping Grounds
Bobby Petrino begins his 2nd term as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. Petrino’s first tenure came between the 2003 through 2006 season. He left after the 2006 season to accept the head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. His first tenure at Louisville was a highly successful one as the Cardinals went 41-9 SU and an impressive 30-20 ATS.  Under the watchful eye of Petrino, the Cardinals were a superb 17-6 ATS as a home favorite over that 4-year period. He will have a tough act to follow after former head coach guided the Cardinals to a combined record of 23-3 record over the past 2-seasons, including a pair of bowl wins over the Florida Gators and the Miami Hurricanes.

 

The Point-spread Facts
The Louisville Cardinals have gone a perfect 12-0 ATS in their last 12-games versus an ACC opponent. However, since the start of the 2007 season the Cardinals have gone just 11-22 ATS as a home favorite. These teams met in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl and Louisville came away with a convincing 36-9 win, and easily covered as a 5.5 point favorite. The Hurricanes will be in a pretty rare situation. This will be only the 5th time since 1994 that a team opens the season as a conference away underdog of 3.5 or less, and is playing with revenge. Unfortunately for Miami, the road dog has gone 0-5 SU&ATS in the 5 previous tries, and they lost by an average of 14.4 points per contest.

 

Final Analysis
This game will certainly be closer than the bowl game these teams played last season which resulted in a lopsided Louisville win. However, I still see the Cardinals coming out on top here, and with having to cover such a small number, the home favorite gets a very small lean from me on Monday night.
Free College Football Pick: Take Louisville -3 points over Miami Fla. as your college football pick.

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