Miami Hurricanes Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
If you had watched the last few years of the Mark Richt era at Georgia, it would have been very easy to forget that the guy can actually coach. Better than most, even. But it was on full display last year in his second season at Miami. Sure, the team ran out of gas at the end, but their 10-0 start to the season was refreshing and exciting. College football really is better when Miami is good. And it hasn't been for so long. Now Richt and his squad need to prove that it was no fluke and that they can build on last year instead of fall back from it.
2017 in a Nutshell
Getting to 3-0 was really not much of an accomplishment - if Richt couldn't have beaten Bethune-Cookman, Toledo and Duke, he should have just resigned on the spot. And by Oct. 7 Florida State was already in full implosion mode, so beating them wasn't as impressive as it would have been the year before. Georgia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina were three more fairly easy games. But then things got tough, with impressive and lopsided wins over No. 13 Virginia Tech, and No. 3 Notre Dame - the latter by 33 points. That win let them climb up to No. 2 in the polls, and they stayed there after beating Virginia handily. But 10-0 was where the fun was doomed to end. The first loss was a little ugly - they fell by 10 at a Pitt team that Miami had no business losing to. The next two losses were more acceptable. First, the fell to Clemson in the ACC title game. Losing by five touchdowns wasn't ideal, but losing to the top team in the country is okay. And then Miami lost to a very good Wisconsin team in the Orange Bowl and put up a decent effort in the loss.
Key Additions and Departures
QB Malik Rosier was lousy in the three losses, but he was impressive up until then, and he is stable in the starting job. There is some depth behind him if he falters, with new four-star recruit Jarren Williams the one who stands out most in my eyes. Travis Homer took over the rushing job last year after Mark Walton, who has since been drafted, was injured, and he really grew into it. But he isn't a lock in the top role this year. Lorenzo Lingard was a five-star recruit who has a chance to shine as a true freshman. The top two receivers are gone, but this was a unit that shared the ball well, so they are still in fine shape. They have good depth at receiver and tight end. They return three starters to the line, but they never really figured things out last year - which is a big part of why Clemson torched them - so the losses won't hurt them nearly as much as a lack of depth and clarity still might.
Experience is a concern up front on defense as two tackles and an end were drafted after last year. They are going to need some guys to step up and surprise in a real hurry here. Linebacker is a very different story, though, with three three-year starters back for more and some depth behind them. They have all but one secondary starter back and some nice guys ready to challenge - like early enrollees DJ Ivey and Gilbert Frierson.
It wasn't just the players that have changed on the defensive line. Craig Kuligowski, one of the better defensive line coaches in the country, was poached by Alabama. Jess Simpson takes over the roll after most recently working for the Atlanta Falcons.
Biggest Area of Concern
The offensive line has more questions than answers at this point, and they are obviously at the heart of what the offense can accomplish.
Miami Hurricanes Schedule Analysis
The season starts with a game in Arlington against LSU. It's a very tough game to call because both teams have serious potential but plenty of questions. Then the team gets much of the next month to relax - Savannah State, Toledo, FIU, and North Carolina are not the elite teams in the country. Game six is against Florida State, and after that disaster of a season and a major coaching change it is tough to know what to expect from them. The team gets another month of manageable games in Virginia, Boston College, Duke and Georgia Tech. Then they travel to Virginia Tech for a big one before finishing at home against Pitt in a chance to get revenge for the loss last year. It is a fairly soft schedule this year - if they falter this won't be the excuse.
2018-19 Miami Hurricanes Betting Odds and Trends
At +4000 Miami is tied with Texas as the 11th choice to win the national title. They are the second choice to win the ACC at +550, though they are on a different stratosphere entirely from favored Clemson at -190. They are favored to win the ACC Coastal at +115, ahead of Virginia Tech at +235. The season win total is set at 9.5, with the "under" solidly favored.
2018-19 Miami Hurricanes Predictions and College Football Picks
There is a lot to do for this team, and I have some concerns, but the schedule is soft. Really soft. If they are a solid team that is focused then they will win eight games as a floor, and they don't play a game that they can be counted out in. Ten wins feels attainable again, so I'd take the "over" on the win total if I had to pick a side.
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