Miami Hurricanes at Duke
Time: 6 PM CT, Friday
Spread: MIA -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Miami Hurricanes have played just two games through the first four weeks of the college season, but the team has dominated both its lowly opponents, winning by a combined total of 93-43 over both Boston College and Toledo. Now, Miami turns its attention to hosting Duke, a team that has been on the rise and is hot. The Hurricanes are still 6-point favorites in the affair, which will air at 6 PM (Central) Friday night on ESPN.
Despite not having yet attained an AP rank, Duke boasts a 4-0 record and it knocked off in-state rival North Carolina 27-17 last week as it hosted the Tar Heels as slight favorites. What has made the difference for Duke this season is that its defense finally seems to be catching up to its offensive prowess.
The Devils held North Carolina to just 17 points, despite UNC racking up 377 total yards. Duke had its way offensively, too, however, as Daniel Jones threw 18 of 34 for 202 yards and a TD, and its backfield (and Jones) rushed for an outstanding 186-yards on 45 carries (4.1 yards per attempt).
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Duke did manage just two offensive TDs, but Byron Fields Jr. returned an interception 61-yards for a touchdown and Austin Parker nailed a pair of field goals, as well. It was a well-executed game from Duke, who trailed by a point going into the fourth quarter before outscoring UNC 14-0 in the game’s final quarter. Repeating those heroics against a much tougher Miami defense will be no easy task, and that is why the Hurricanes enter the game as favorites, presumably. The over/under is set at 56 points, but bettors may be heavily enticed to wager the under on this one.
Miami is ranked No. 14 in AP polls, and this will be its first real test of the season. Quarterback Malik Rosier has thrown for an average of 275 yards per game while completing 68.8 percent of his passes, at an average of 8.59 yards per reception. He has thrown six TD passes with just one pick on the year, and his top receiver Braxton Berrios has caught for 140 yards on eight receptions with two TDs. Running back Mark Walton has been relatively unstoppable, averaging 13.0 yards per rush attempt on his 27 carries for 352 yards on the season, to go with his team-leading three touchdowns.
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No. 2 back Travis Homer has been successful in his own right, with 140 yards on 19 attempts (7.4 yards per) and a pair of TDs. Miami has balanced its scoring attack this year with six receiving TDs and six via the rush. That unpredictability should give the Duke defense headaches as it succumbs to its first loss of the season as underdogs.
Expect Miami to prevail by roughly the amount NCAA oddsmakers project, while the under still makes a rather attractive bet in a game that will probably feature more defense than oddsmakers are suspecting. Also important, Miami kicker Michael Badgley is a perfect 3 of 3 on field goals and 12 of 12 on extra points, and he has already hit one from beyond 50-yards this season. If Miami can get favorable field advantage, his kicking skills could play heavily into the final outcome.