No. 17 North Carolina vs No. 10 Miami

No. 17 North Carolina vs No. 10 Miami | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 11, 2020

Neither No. 17 North Carolina nor No. 10 Miami can reach the ACC Championship Game, but the winner Saturday will have a good shot at earning a spot in the New Year’s Day Six Orange Bowl. The Canes are favored on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet North Carolina at Miami NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Hard Rock Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Miami -3 (total 67.5)

Last Meeting

Last year, the Heels were 28-25 home winners over Miami in a great game. Sam Howell directed a clutch final drive and found Dazz Newsome just inside the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:01 left. That capped a stunning 75-yard march that included him hitting Rontavius Groves for 20 yards on a fourth-and-17 to keep the drive alive, which came only minutes after the Tar Heels had surrendered the lead on a late Miami touchdown. Bubba Baxa’s 49-yard kick went wide left for the Canes with five seconds left.

UNC leads the all-time series 11-10. The Tar Heels last won at Miami in 2016, a 20-13 victory.

Why Bet on North Carolina? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Heels (7-3) scheduled Western Carolina last week basically as a scrimmage and won 49-9. Michael Carter rushed for three touchdowns and Sam Howell threw for two touchdowns. The Heels built a 42-3 halftime lead against the Football Championship Subdivision opponent.

Nine different players caught passes from Howell, who was 20 of 23 for 287 yards before sitting out the second half. Those connections included a 22-yard hook-up to Antoine Green, who made his first catch of the season on the first-quarter play, and a 26-yard strike to Dazz Newsome with 49 seconds left in the first half. Carter ran for first-quarter touchdowns of 17 and 22 yards and then a second-quarter score from 5 yards out. Javonte Williams (3 yards) and D.J. Jones (2 yards) also had touchdown runs.

Last Saturday marked the 1,326th football game in the history of the University of North Carolina. It was the first one ever that the Tar Heels won by a 49-9 score.

Howell’s 145 first downs is second in the country, trailing Florida’s Kyle Trask (156). On passing attempts targeted 20 yards or more downfield, Howell’s 24 completions are tied for seventh nationally, while his nine touchdown passes is tied ninth. Javonte Williams grades out as the top running back in all of college football this season with a 94.3 rushing grade via Pro Football Focus. He has avoided more tackles (63) and pieced together more rushes of 10 or more yards (36) than any other back in 2020.

UNC is second in the ACC to Clemson in scoring offense with 41.1 points per game. That figure is 7th nationally among Power 5 programs. Carolina ranks fifth nationally and leads the ACC with 534.5 yards per game of total offense.

Why Bet on Miami? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Hurricanes (8-1) played for the first time in three weeks last Saturday and showed no rust in a 48-0 rout of Duke. Against a Duke team that had won two straight against them, the Hurricanes forced five turnovers. They held the Blue Devils to just 56 rushing yards and totaled 13 tackles for loss.

It was Miami’s first road shutout since 2000; its first ACC shutout since joining the conference in 2004; its first shutout of a Power 5 opponent since beating Syracuse in 2001 and its first shutout of an FBS opponent since holding FIU scoreless in a 35-0 win at the Orange Bowl in 2006.

Canes QB D’Eriq King completed 16 of his 24 passes for 248 yards with three touchdowns. His 89-yard touchdown pass to Mike Harley was the fourth longest passing play in program history and the longest passing play since a 97-yard pass from Kyle Wright to Darnell Jenkins against UNC in 2007.

King has now picked up ACC Quarterback of the Week three times this year; he has thrown for 2,334 yards and 20 touchdowns while adding 467 rushing yards and four rushing scores.

Freshman Donald Chaney Jr. finished with four catches for 81 yards and nine carries for 62 yards, Cam Harris had a game-high 96 rushing yards, Brevin Jordan had four catches for 75 yards and the Hurricanes totaled 524 yards of total offense, including 220 rushing yards.

The 2020 Hurricanes became the second Miami team to win seven ACC games (7-1) since joining the conference – both teams came with Manny Diaz on staff (2017, 2020).

Top Hurricanes defensive back Al Blades Jr. will be out for at least the next three months. Blades posted on Twitter that he had recently been going through COVID protocols and testing. In doing so, Blades mentioned that doctors were concerned with some of his bloodwork in relation to his heart. The junior has since been diagnosed with myocarditis. Blades has seven pass breakups and two picks this season.

Game Trends
  • Tar Heels are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Hurricanes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
  • Hurricanes are 7-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
  • Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Miami.
Expert Prediction
  • Miami 37, North Carolina 31

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