NCAAF Odds and Free Prediction: Miami vs Duke

Both teams will be trying to punch their ticket to a bowl game on Saturday night when the Duke Blue Devils visit the Miami Hurricanes. Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST on Saturday, November 3, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN2.

Based on this week’s college football odds, the Hurricanes are 8-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 49 points.

Miami vs Duke Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds

Miami is coming home this week hoping to snap out of a two-game funk. Road trips to Virginia and Boston College in recent weeks were not fruitful for the Hurricanes, who scored just 27 total points in those two losses. Prior to that, Miami had rattled off five wins in a row, so we know they’re capable of playing much better than they have recently. 

In addition to trying to qualify for a bowl game, the Hurricanes still have a chance to reach the ACC Championship Game for the second straight year. Miami still has head-to-head meetings with two of the three teams in the Coastal division that have just one ACC loss this season. If the Hurricanes can get back on track and win out, there’s a chance they can work their way back to the top of the Coastal division.

Duke, on the other hand, doesn’t have much hope to reach the ACC title game. At the moment, the Blue Devils are more concerned with breaking out of a funk that has seen them lose three of their last four games after a promising 4-0 start to the season. Duke has had an opportunity to solidify a bowl spot in games against Virginia and Pittsburgh in recent weeks, but they fell short on both occasions.

Even with just one more win needed to get to their sixth bowl game in the last seven years, the Blue Devils are starting to run out of time. Duke still has to visit Clemson and play regional rivals North Carolina and Wake Forest down the stretch, so there are no easy wins on their November schedule. That should create some sense of urgency for the Blue Devils to get their sixth win as soon as possible.

Adding to the pressure is Duke’s lack of success against Miami in the past. These two teams have met every year since 2005 with the Blue Devils only winning once in those 13 meetings. Suffice it to say that history is not on Duke’s side in this matchup.

Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Duke +8

Despite Miami’s dominance in this series, I’m surprised to see such a large spread for this game. I do think the Hurricanes are poised to bounce back and win this game, but it’s far from a sure thing. Given the troubles of the Miami offense the past couple of weeks, I think taking Duke and the points is the safer choice in this game.

Miami’s biggest problem continues to be the quarterback position. Senior Malik Rosier recently took the starting job back from freshman N’Kosi Perry, but the results haven’t been that different. Over the last two games, Rosier is barely completing over 50% of his passes while throwing three interceptions to just one touchdown pass. The bottom line is that Miami has scored 14 points or less in back-to-back games.

Of course, Duke is coming off a game in which they allowed over 50 points against Pittsburgh. But it’s important to keep in mind that Pitt is an elite running team that did most of their damage on the ground. If you take out that game, Duke is allowing just over 21 points per game against power conference opponents this season. Also, Miami is a good but not great running team. I’m not sure they can exploit the same weaknesses that Pitt did last week against the Duke defense, especially given Rosier’s struggles as a passer.

On the other side of the ball, a Duke offense that has been up and down this season had a breakout game last week. To be fair, scoring 40-plus points against Pittsburgh should be taken with a grain of salt. But keep in mind that quarterback Daniel Jones missed time due to injury earlier this year. Last week’s game could be a sign that Jones is finally back in a good rhythm and ready to finish the season strong.

It’s worth noting the Miami defense is giving up less than 20 points per game this season. Even in the team’s losses, they’ve done their part to keep the Hurricanes competitive. But they haven’t faced a lot of high-level offensive teams. Facing Duke doesn’t necessarily change that. But the Blue Devils do have a veteran quarterback and better balance than most of the teams Miami has faced this season.

Ultimately, I don’t trust Miami’s offense enough to swallow eight points in this game. I think the Duke defense is good enough to keep the Hurricanes in their recent offensive rut. Even if Miami can slow down the Blue Devils and win a defensive slugfest, I have enough doubts about the Hurricanes covering the spread to lean toward Duke and the points.

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