D’Eriq King and the No. 17 ranked Miami Hurricanes will have an excellent opportunity to climb up the rankings on Saturday night when they invade Cardinal Stadium to do battle with the newly anointed No. 18 ranked Louisville Cardinals who likely won’t have forgotten about the woodshed beating the Canes dropped upon them in the lone confrontation a season ago. This is a huge show-me spot for a Cards’ defense that allowed a bad Miami offense to drop 52-points on their heads last season. Now the unit must deal with King who sits only behind Trevor Lawrence on the current futures odds to win the Heisman Trophy. You know it’s a big one when College GameDay is in the house, and that will be the case on Saturday night when these teams collide with the victor keeping pace with North Carolina, Notre Dame and Clemson for ACC bragging rights. Linemakers at online sportsbooks currently have Scott Satterfield’s kids installed short 2.5-point home favorites with the total lined at 64.5 which has been on the move since first hitting the board.
Watch this Week 3 matchup on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET from Cardinal Stadium.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
There’s been very little movement in terms of the pointspread since the number to beat initially opened up to the betting market. However, 70 percent of the betting handle has forced linemakers to bump the ‘Ville up a half-point to -2.5 after originally opening 2-point favorites. It does however look like most of the action has been of the public variety with it only trickling up half a point. There has been a decent amount of line movement in terms of the total which is all the way up to 64.5 after initially hitting the board at 59.5. A healthy 61 percent of the handle has forced the 5-point line move. Both Miami and Louisville sit behind Clemson and Notre Dame on the ACC title futures odds as well as North Carolina dependent upon where you shop.
Matchup to Watch
The Cardinals’ special teams were a horror show last season. Not much changed in the team’s season opener against Western Kentucky. On the Cards’ very first punt of the season, new punter Logan Lupo dropped the snapped ball which allowed the Hilltoppers to take possession over on the Ville’s 1-yard line; they cashed in immediately to take an early 7-0 lead. Then later in the game, A Western Kentucky defender went unblocked which allowed him to streak right through the middle and block the punt. WKY took over on the 4-yard line and cashed that generous Cardinal’s miscue into another touchdown. Though the final box score shows Louisville winning by a 35-21 final count, only one of those touchdowns was truly earned. If Louisville’s special teams continue to put the defense behind the 8-ball against the Hurricanes, King and company will waltz to the outright victory.
Player to Watch
Cam’ron Harris: As a team, Miami racked up 337 yards on 52 carries against the UAB Blazers defense last week. The sophomore running back accounted for 134 of those yards to go along with a couple of scores. He proved to be the perfect complement to King who racked up 83 yards of his own as well as a touchdown on the ground. Louisville looked great defensively last week in limiting a veteran Hilltoppers offense to just 119 yards on 35 carries; good for a measly 3.4 yard per carry average. Monty Montgomery did an excellent job spying Tyrrell Pigrome holding the WKY quarterback to just 68 scoreless yards on 17 rushing attempts. He’ll likely be tasked with the same chore of holding down King. With that, it will be up to Harris to beat veteran linebackers Dorian Etheridge and C.J. Avery. His ability to do so will go a long way in allowing Miami to take a second straight from their conference rival.
Free ATS Pick
I came away very impressed with the Redbirds overall body of work last week. It was dominant regardless of the 35-21 final. The box score ultimately misrepresents what truly went down in the Cardinals home opener. Take those two special teams gaffes out of the equation, and the Hilltoppers only manage seven points and less than 250 yards of combined offense. On the flipside, I’m not buying into what Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes are selling. This team was one of the ultimate disgraces in the country a season ago losing games outright as decided favorites on numerous occasions. I get that King is one of the more special players in the country, but a change at the quarterback position isn’t enough to convince me all the problem areas are rectified. I’m buying into Louisville’s team mentality here and believe they show out for this huge nationally televised affair. Look for Micale Cunningham to be the QB folks are talking about following the game, and for the Cardinals defense to step up in a huge way to erase the memory of last year’s horrific result. Louisville wins and covers the number in the season’s first matchup of top-25 ranked teams.
CFB Pick: Louisville 35, Miami 24
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