[3:35 PM] North Carolina @ #16 Miami (FL)

Who will WIN this matchup?

North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2)

@ #16 Miami (FL) Hurricanes (4-1)
Current odds:

North Carolina: (+200)

Miami (FL): (-240)


ESPN simulations have Miami (FL) as XX% favorites to win the game.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Miami (FL) to win as (TBD) underdogs.

The line for this game is Miami by 7.5 points.

With both teams coming off their first ACC losses, No. 17 Miami (Fla.) and North Carolina meet in a game that is crucial to each team’s hopes of capturing the Coastal Division title and a berth in the conference championship game. The defeats came in dramatically different ways, with the Hurricanes falling 20-19 at home to rival Florida State on a blocked extra point with 1:38 remaining while the previously potent Tar Heels’ offense self-destructed in a 34-3 loss against Virginia Tech in brutal weather conditions at Chapel Hill resulting from Hurricane Matthew.

While Fedora didn’t use the weather as an excuse, the conditions were far from ideal for an attack that is still averaging 299.8 yards passing despite Trubisky managing only 58 yards against the Hokies. The junior has no shortage of productive receivers, led by Ryan Switzer (49 catches, 98.2 yards per game, 1 touchdown), Austin Proehl (20, 46.0 yards, 1 TD) and Bug Howard (19, 45.3 yards, 3 TDs); he should also benefit from the return of tailback Elijah Hood (338 yards, 4 TDs) and guard Caleb Patterson. The defense has received solid play from safety Donnie Miles, linebacker Andrew Smith and Malik Carney up front, but injuries are an issue for a unit that is ranked 88th in total defense (421.6 yards per game) and has zero interceptions.

Quarterback Brad Kaaya (229.8 yards per game, 10 TDs) threw a pair of touchdown passes against FSU to senior wide receiver Stacy Coley (22 receptions, 13.2 yards, 6 TDs) – including a clutch fourth-down connection prior to the botched extra point – but the junior also threw a costly interception in the end zone that turned the game’s momentum. The offensive line needs to bounce back from a poor game in which it allowed three sacks and didn’t fare well in opening holes for Walton (448 yards, 8 TDs) and Joe Yearby (363 yards, 5 TDs). Led by freshman linebackers Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman, the defense showed toughness despite giving up 20 points to FSU and still ranks near the top nationally in numerous defensive categories.

Trubisky’s first interception against Virginia Tech ended a streak of 243 passes without a pick off.

The Tar Heels humbled the Hurricanes last season, jumping out to a 45-0 lead and winning 59-21 in Chapel Hill to even the all-time series at 9-9.

Despite both teams having scored plenty of points, North Carolina ranks next-to-last in time of possession (22 minutes a game) while Miami is 123rd (24 minutes).


StreakSmarts Pick: Miami (FL) Hurricanes

Confidence: 7/10

StreakSmarter Pick