Miami Betting Odds Preview

The Hurricanes have made progress under head coach Al Golden, advancing from six to seven to nine wins in his three seasons with the program, but they still haven't shown enough signs of an eventual return to glory.

The standards are very high with Miami, where national championships were once the norm, but those days are gone, and may never come back, thanks to a much more competitive recruiting war in the state of Florida. Fortunately the 'Canes play in the weaker of the two ACC divisions; at 5-3 they almost won the Coastal Division last year. But Miami won several close games last year, and a trend like that tends to even out over the course of another season or two.

Miami Odds to Win ACC: 12/1 at Bovada
Miami Odds to Win College Football Championship: 150/1 at Bovada
Miami Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 at Bovada
Miami Betting Props: Duke Johnson to Win Heisman 33/1 at Bovada

Miami started 7-0 last year, reaching No. 7 in the rankings. But were the 'Canes really that good? They were fortunate to beat Florida in Week 2, and had to come from behind to beat Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Miami then got exposed by Florida State in a 41-14 defeat, and lost RB Duke Johnson for the season in the process. Losses to Virginia Tech and Duke followed, but the Hurricanes then beat Virginia and Pitt. But the season ended on a down note as Miami got blown out by Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl to finish at 9-4.

The 'Canes had gone 15-8 ATS in their first two seasons under Golden, but went just 5-8 ATS last year.

This year the Hurricanes return 14 starters, fourth-most in the conference. Seven starters are back on offense, including RB Duke Johnson, who ran for 920 yards last year before breaking an ankle in Game 8 against Florida State, and three along the offensive line. And seven starters are back on defense, including five of the back seven. But they'll have to replace their starting quarterback, possibly with a redshirt freshman, and last year's leading receiver, and that defense needs coaching-up after a poor second half last season.

This year's schedule calls for road games at Louisville (on Labor Day night), Nebraska, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, and home games with Duke, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Florida State and Pitt. Phil Steele ranks it as the 14th-toughest schedule in the country.

Golden may have this program pointed in the right direction, but the 'Canes might have a tough time matching last season's win total this year.

ACC Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Florida State 4/11
Clemson 10/1
Louisville 10/1
North Carolina 10/1
Miami 12/1
Virginia Tech 12/1
Duke 20/1
Georgia Tech 25/1
Pittsburgh 40/1
Syracuse 66/1
Virginia 66/1
North Carolina State 100/1
Boston College 200/1

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After going 7-5 last year the Miami Hurricanes, once the terror of college football, are just 20-17 over the last three seasons, 13-11 in, let's face it, a weak ACC. U Nation has been waiting for a breakout campaign for about a decade, but this could be it. The 'Canes, with almost everybody back, will almost undoubtedly snap their two-year bowl drought, and should have a shot at double-digit victories. Which could put them in the hunt for a BCS bowl.   

Odds to Win ACC: +575 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 8.5 at Bovada

Miami only had 10 starters back last year from a team that went just 6-6 in 2011, so not a whole lot was expected. The Hurricanes actually got off to a 4-1 start, highlighted by a crazy overtime victory at Georgia Tech, marred only by that blowout loss at Kansas State. But the schedule got a little tougher, and the 'Canes lost three straight, to Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Florida State.

Miami then finished with three wins in its last four games, including an upset of Virginia Tech, but because of a self-imposed ban missed a bowl game for the second straight season. Miami also, rather quietly, was very good to its financial backers last year, going 8-3-1 ATS, and rather amazingly 7-0-1 ATS in ACC play. This year the U returns 18 starters, tied for the most in the ACC. Ten starters are back on offense, including senior QB Stephen Morris (21/7 TD/INT ratio last year), leading rusher Duke Johnson, leading receiver Phillip Dorsett, and the entire offensive line. And eight starters return on defense. However, that defense was terrible last year, ranking right near the bottom in all of FBS by allowing 486 YPG. So improvement on that side of the ball is imperative if the 'Canes are to contend for a big bowl berth.

As for the schedule, Miami gets Florida, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Virginia at home, has to play at North Carolina, Florida State, and Pitt, and misses Clemson. From afar, the 'Canes should be favored in at least eight and possibly 10 of their games this season.

ACC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 30

Clemson +235
Florida State +240
Miami +575
Virginia Tech +775
North Carolina +850
Georgia Tech +1050
Pittsburgh +3500
Virginia +3800
Syracuse +6500
Maryland +6700
NC State +7000
Boston College +8500
Duke +12500
Wake Forest +15000