Opening Line: UNC +20 1/2
Current Line: Via Vegas Insiders
First Impressions: After suffering their worst defeat of the year this past weekend, is there any shock that Carolina wakes up as significant underdogs? It’s the second weekend in a row they open up as with this margin, and while last week had some folks questioning if that was absurd, this week most of us feel that line is right on.
If anyone disagrees, it’s probably because they think it should be higher.
Why this is the line: Miami is looking to rise to the top of the Coastal and is currently undefeated. Their wins have come against some pretty good competition, two of whom managed to beat Carolina (Georgia Tech and Duke) and another being Syracuse, just coming off their take down of Clemson. They also have the comeback against FSU, so the team is easily battle-tested and aspiring to make their first appearance in Charlotte since joining the ACC.
Carolina? Virginia Tech sure seemed like the game where the wheels finally came off for good. It’s tough to get handled like that on the road, and then turn around and play a noon game against another top-tier competitor. The questions at quarterback still haven’t been resolved, you still have all of those players out for the year, and Miami hasn’t really laid down a whoopin’ on anyone yet, and this feels like the team they can do it against.
How the line could still move: Sharps may take into account that Miami hasn’t blown anyone out, and has had a habit of keeping teams into games. They can also note that the defense for Carolina only surrendered 14 points before the game really turned into a rout and both sides essentially played their backups...assuming Carolina had any backups left. The game is also in Chapel Hill, the team could be motivated to wash last weekend out of their system, and teams rarely get this severely outplayed two weeks in a row. Miami also has their big game against Virginia Tech, and could get caught napping.
In reality, though, the line hasn’t moved much either way since opening, and it’s hard to imagine the range going up or down more than a couple of points.
Advice: The last time Miami came into Chapel Hill this heavily favored, well, it didn’t end well for Miami. Fast forward this to 7:11 for the good part.
That said, this isn’t 2004. Miami’s recent play doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in them covering, but they could be ready to make a statement. The smart money says Miami covers.