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The Odds - Miami's Reasons for Coastal Optimism

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Let's take a look at Miami's odds to win the Coastal and the ACC. Miami's win total odds predict 7 wins, but the Canes have a good chance of exceeding expectations.

Joe Skipper/Getty Images

July and August are months filled with college football optimism. Most places have Miami at either 75-1 or 50-1 to win the National Championship if you dare to dream. But let's take things slow. Build brick by brick, focus on your job, and stay in the moment. Stop playing Pokemon and focus on the potential for Miami to finally win the Coastal.

ACC Conference Championship Odds -€” Bovada

Clemson: 3/2

Florida State: 9/4

Miami: 9/1

Louisville: ‪10/1

North Carolina: ‪10/1

Pittsburgh: ‪14/1

Virginia Tech: ‪14/1

Georgia Tech: ‪16/1

NC State: ‪20/1

Duke: 40/1

Syracuse: 75/1

Virginia: 75/1

Wake Forest: 75/1

Boston College: 100/1

ACC Atlantic

Clemson: ‪10/11

Florida State: 5/4

Louisville: 6/1

NC State: ‪14/1

Boston College: 40/1

Syracuse: 50/1

Wake Forest: 50/1

ACC Coastal

Miami: 3/2

Pittsburgh: 3/1

Virginia Tech: 3/1

North Carolina: ‪17/4

Georgia Tech: ‪10/1

Duke: ‪20/1

Virginia: 40/1 has very similar ACC Championship odds - FSU and Clemson are significant favorites and Louisville and Miami are both listed at 9/1. The oddsmakers are counting on the winner of the FSU Clemson game going on to win the ACC. The Atlantic is unquestionably the stronger division with FSU, Clemson, and Louisville ranked ahead of or close to every Coastal team. In the Coastal, Georgia Tech isn't being given much of a chance for a bounce back year, while Virginia Tech should be improved under new coach Justin Fuente. I am a bit surprised that North Carolina isn't getting more preseason hype after going undefeated in conference play in 2015. Mitch Trubisky takes over at QB and will likely have a big year for the Tar Heels.

In making Miami the Coastal favorite, Vegas clearly sees Mark Richt as an upgrade from Al Golden. Brad Kaaya is the best QB in the Coastal Division. Miami graduated very few seniors and returns experience on the offensive line. The RB position is stacked with Yearby, Edwards, Walton, and Gray. Stacy Coley is back after a strong junior year. The Canes have two proven special teams contributors in K Michael Badgley and P Justin Vogel. Both were named to the preseason awards watch list for their position. Miami's defense will be young in spots, but there is a lot of talent for new DC Manny Diaz to work with.

The ACC schedule is more favorable for the Canes than in years past. Miami always plays Florida State from the Atlantic Division, but in 2014 the Canes played at Louisville and in 2015 they hosted Clemson. This season, UM's second Atlantic Division game is at NCST, a much more winnable game. Miami's four road conference opponents went 11-21 combined in the ACC last year. Miami's four home conference opponents went 24-8 in 2015. Mark Richt couldn't ask for a better ACC schedule in his first season. Here's to hoping he builds a wall around South Florida, wins, wins some more, and wins so much you'll all be tired of winning.

Miami's schedule is broken down into 3 distinct parts

Sept. 17 at Appalachian State
Sept. 24 OPEN
Oct. 1 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 20 at Virginia Tech, ESPN (Thu.)
Oct. 29 at Notre Dame
Nov. 5 PITT
Nov. 12 at Virginia
Nov. 19 at NC State
Nov. 26 DUKE

September should be a 3-0 start and an opportunity to get acclimated to the new schemes and philosophies on both sides of the ball. This time is especially valuable for Miami's defense that needs leaders to emerge quickly. Regardless of whether the first two games end up being played on the beach, on a high school field, or in the parking lot, I'm not concerned about FAMU or FAU, but don't sleep on Appalachian State. The Mountaineers went 11-2 in 2015 and averaged 268 yards rushing a game. Miami clearly has significantly better talent, but this will be a good test of Mark Richt's ability to get his team focused on the road for a noon kickoff in a small but energized stadium. I'll be there making sure the Canes don't sleepwalk early.

October is brutal. Three road games (at GT, VT, & Notre Dame) and home games against FSU and North Carolina make this one of the toughest stretches any college football team will face this season. Florida State has beaten Miami six straight times and could be a national title contender if a quarterback emerges. The Canes will have to find a way to slow down Dalvin Cook. Miami should be favored at Georgia Tech and is currently listed as a small underdog at Virginia Tech in a few places. The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas released odds on big games last week and had the following: Miami +7 vs FSU, Miami +3 at Virginia Tech, and Miami +7.5 at Notre Dame. Notre Dame has a dominant offensive line and two great options at QB - DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire. Both are capable of leading the Irish to a Top 10 season.

November offers the chance to finish strong and hopefully secure the Coastal Division. Miami should be favored in all four games. Virginia should be down again this season and Pitt and Duke are teams Miami should be able to handle at home. If Miami splits the four ACC games in October and is able to win out in November, a 6-2 record might be enough to send the Canes to Charlotte.

MIAMI 6.5 wins

Over -200

Under +165

South Point Sportsbook

MIAMI 8 wins

Over +120

Under -140

The general consensus among oddsmakers is that Miami should be able to win 7 games, but winning 8-10 might be difficult. The last QB drafted in the first round that failed to win 7 regular season games in his final college season was Jake Locker in 2011. If Brad Kaaya is the first round talent we all think he is, his presence and ability alone should get this team to 7 or 8 wins at a minimum. Mark Richt won more than 6 regular season games in 14 out of 15 seasons at Georgia. I've been wrong before, but will confidently predict that Miami will go at least 8-4.