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Miami vs. North Carolina football prediction: Plenty of offense

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Miami vs. North Carolina football prediction: Plenty of offense 1

Miami (-3.5, 67.5) vs. North Carolina

Given the way the program has stumbled across many seasons over the last 15 years, it feels like 8-1 Miami should be a bigger deal. And if not for Clemson and Notre Dame — an adopted ACC program for 2020 — perhaps that would be the case. As is, the Hurricanes are coming off a 48-0 rout over Duke on Saturday, where they easily covered as a two-touchdown favorite. North Carolina, a week removed from getting upended by the Irish, easily cruised past Western Carolina. From a sheer watchability standpoint, this one has plenty to offer. Although Sam Howell and D’Eriq King have vastly different builds and playing styles, both quarterbacks are incredibly explosive. And of all the things to jump out heading into a game that has a chance to be one of the year’s most exciting, it’s the total. This scoreboard might get a workout.

Iowa (-1, 42) vs. Wisconsin

Iowa is a handful of plays from being unbeaten. The Hawkeyes began the season with losses to Purdue and Northwestern that both came in the final moments by a combined five points. As is, this team has rebounded. Iowa is 5-2 and 3-2-2 against the spread. The most recent efforts against Nebraska and Illinois were not wildly inspiring. And yet, the trajectory of these two are vastly different. Wisconsin opened with an emphatic win over Illinois, dealt with COVID issues and hasn’t been the same since. On Saturday, the Badgers lost outright to Indiana as a 12.5-point favorite. Wisconsin has lost two consecutive games and scored a total of 13 points in its last 120 minutes of football. While you won’t confuse Iowa with Alabama in terms of offensive explosiveness, this team has some quality players at running back and tight end. The line says otherwise. Although Wisconsin has struggled mightily of late, oddsmakers still think there’s something left.

USC (-3.5, 61.5) at UCLA

It seems odd to say that USC-UCLA is actually a delightfully sneaky football game given the history and the rivalry, but here we are. The reason we haven’t been able to say that much is because a) both teams have been largely disappointing for some time and b) UCLA looked to be cratering under Chip Kelly. This season, however, that is not the case. The Bruins are 3-2 and could easily be 5-0. They are 4-1 against the spread. USC is 4-0, coming off a dominating Sunday (yes, Sunday) victory over Washington State, and 2-2 ATS. Both teams are averaging exactly 33 points per game, which is pretty wild. And both defenses have been good enough. Given the record, USC likely will be a popular betting choice. But I like the underdog to make a game of it, which would be great for this rivalry. It could use some juice.

Georgia (-13, 52.5) at Missouri

With cancellations once again affecting the week’s slate of games, Georgia-Missouri should get plenty of screen time in the rotation. Amid the madness, Mizzou has actually been a nice story in 2020. The Tigers are 5-3 and 5-2-1 against the spread. They also have scored 91 points in the last two weeks and enter this game after a thrilling 50-48 win over Arkansas. At 6-2, Georgia is just 3-5 ATS. Since naming JT Daniels the starter at quarterback, the offense has played better. Those games, however, came against Mississippi State and South Carolina. This feels like a more reasonable measuring stick. Outside the blowout loss to Florida, Missouri has played well of late. Perhaps they’ll simply be overmatched athletically. That’s certainly a possibility. But I could also see this one being close deep into the second half.

Florida (-23.5, 67.5) vs. LSU

Is this truly one of the best games this week? Likely not, but it’s LSU-Florida. And while this game lacks its normal buzz, it still comes with plenty of intrigue. That intrigue is packaged plenty different for both teams. For Florida, a team that will make the College Football Playoff if it wins this week and then beats Alabama, it’s pretty obvious. The Gators are 8-1 and 5-4 ATS. They haven’t been completely dominant of late, although they have played good enough. LSU, well, is the opposite. The Tigers are 3-5 (4-4 ATS), and the Alabama game, as mentioned above, did not go well. The defense is broken. The offense isn’t much better. While we expected a drop-off given the departures in the offseason, we didn’t expect this. Can they still cover this spread? Absolutely. Do they need to figure out how they plan to cover Florida’s wide variety of offensive weapons first? Yes. Yes, they do.

BYU (-15.5, 49.5) vs. San Diego State

Will there be a hangover? That’s the question for BYU as it heads home to take on a good (but not great) San Diego State team. The loss against Coastal Carolina will sting for a while, but don’t let that sway you on this team. I still like the Cougars quite a bit.

Army (-6.5, 38) vs. Navy

You have to watch. It’s Army-Navy. No matter the year or the fans or the scene, this is always must-see. The point spread says the game should be competitive. And the total? Well, we don’t see many college football games in the 30s these days. In fact, we don’t see many football games go this low at all.

Colorado (-2, 49.5) vs. Utah

The Buffs are still unbeaten, although the oddsmakers still have questions about how legitimate this team is. Utah, even at 1-2, is a quality measuring stick. After dealing with a COVID outbreak to start the season, the Utes might be settling in.

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