Miami vs. North Carolina kicks off this Saturday at 7:30pm EST in Chapel Hill North Carolina as a home game for the Tar Heels. Miami is currently a +4 underdog and +158 on the moneyline while the total is set at 57.5. Read on for more Miami vs. North Carolina best bets and predictions as the Hurricanes look to keep this close by covering the spread.
Miami Vs. North Carolina Prediction & Best Bet
In one of the more shocking endings in the history of college football, the Miami Hurricanes shot themselves in the foot by calling a run play instead of taking knees to end the game. The run resulted in a fumble, eventually leading to a last second Georgia Tech touchdown to secure the massive upset win. An inexcusable decision and one that broke Miami fans hearts leading up to a huge showdown against the Tar Heels.
Should Miami have just taken knees, they would have secured the win and the attitude towards this game against North Carolina would be dramatically different. That potentially plays in our favor, getting a point or two more towards Miami’s spread in an overreaction as this team is still chalk full of talent.
That said talent is more than capable of going score for score with North Carolina’s offense as the Tar Heels still have issues on the defensive side of things. While their pass protection has improved after last years near dead last advanced metric ranks, their rush defense still mightily struggles as they rank 96th in Def Rush PPA, 87th in Def Rush Success Rate, and 82nd in Def Rush Explosiveness.
This plays right into the Hurricanes hands as they rely on a heavy dose of the ground game in an effort to set up their pass attack. Ranked 38th in Rush Play Rate, the Hurricanes ground attack has found success early and often by clocking in at 25th in Rush PPA and 24th in Rush Success Rate. Explosiveness is non-existent, but Miami has no issue with churning out small chunks at a time on the ground in an effort to cut the distance in half and set up their offense in friendlier distances to gain.
On the other end, Miami’s defense is in a good position to halt the new-look North Carolina offense as the Tar Heels traded explosive plays for more efficient short field throws under their new OC. Luckily for Miami, their defense is equipped to give Drake Maye and company fits as they rank sixth in Def Rush Success Rate and 19th in Def Pass Success Rate. This will drastically halt North Carolina’s downfield progression, potentially forcing stalled out drives while keeping them out of scoring position.
Miami Vs. North Carolina Prediction & Best Bet: Miami +4
Miami Vs. North Carolina Betting Odds
Oddsmakers have been put in a pickle after Miami’s mind-numbingly bad decision last week, reopening the Hurricanes as a +4.5 underdog after opening at +1 on the lookahead. Bettors believe they reopened a tad too high, backing Miami down to +4 as of writing. That’s still an overreaction for how much talent this Hurricane squad has, matching UNC metric wise.
Speaking of scoring pace, oddsmakers believe points will come at a quick pace as they opened the total at 57.5. Bettors are right in line with this number, keeping the total the same since the opener. With defense playing a bigger role than anticipated for both units in this contest, an under may be in the cards as both offenses play towards draining the clock with slow methodical drives.
Miami Vs. North Carolina Key Matchups
Will Tyler Van Dyke bounce back against an improved UNC secondary?
Tyler Van Dyke Vs. North Carolina Secondary
It was about as bad a performance as it got for Tyler Van Dyke as he threw for three of his four total interceptions this season in his last week’s game against the Yellow Jackets. A minor setback in a clear lookahead spot while running a conservative game plan, giving little conviction he can’t bounce back in this week’s contest.
— QSportsMedia (@QSportsMedia2) October 8, 2023
While UNC’s pass defense has drastically improved from last year’s metrics, they are still in a rough position to slow down the Miami pass attack. This is due to Miami’s ground game setting up the pass, forcing UNC’s second level to sell out in an effort to limit the run. Once stacked in the middle, Van Dyke should have no issue with picking apart the created gaps on the outside for chunks at a time. Bank on Tyler’s efficiency to burn the Tar Heel secondary.