Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Miami-USF, VT-UVA, UNC-NC State, BC-Maryland, Duke-Wake Predictions

Miami Hurricanes at South Florida Bulls
Saturday 3:30PM ET TV: ABC/ESPN

Line: Miami -1

An interesting note about this game is that it is off most boards; I had to dig to find a line on it.

Despite the close proximity, these teams will be meeting for just the second time ever on Saturday. Miami defeated USF in the only other meeting in 2005.

The Bulls have played much better at home this season, but those numbers are skewed with two contests coming against 1-AA competition early on.

Miami is playing better on both sides of the ball in their last three games after a brief mid season slump.

I like an improving Hurricanes run defense to slow down BJ Daniels and South Florida enough to gut out a win.

Miami Wins
Miami Covers -1

Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers
Saturday 3:30PM ET TV: ABC/ESPN

Line: Va Tech -16

The swan song for Al Groh begins at 3:30 in Charlottesville when his Cavalier team takes on arch rival Virginia Tech. It is hard to imagine a scenario where the ninth year coach keeps his job unless he beats the Hokies for just the second time.

Now that I have basically told you I think Va Tech will win lets see if they will cover a pretty big spread of 16 points. Last season, UVA came into Blacksburg seven point underdogs and nearly pulled off the upset.

The problem this year is that UVA's offense and defense has gotten seemingly worse down the stretch.

Meanwhile, the Hokies have righted the ship on defense and have found a punishing offensive weapon in leading ACC rusher Ryan Williams.

I think the only way Virginia has a chance to keep this one close is to come out with something VT hasn't seen. Oh yeah, they did that last year with Vic Hall at QB.

Never mind, Virginia Tech rolls.

Virginia Tech Wins
Virginia Tech Covers -16

North Carolina Tar Heels at NC State Wolfpack
Saturday Noon ET TV: ESPN2

Line: UNC -5.5

The Tar Heels hope to break a two year losing streak against NC State, but continue their own streak of four straight wins. UNC has made an appearance back in some top 25 pools by pushing their record to 8-3.

Things could not be more opposite down the road in Raleigh where the Wolfpack are in a deep slide having lost six of their last seven.

The team that has won the rushing battle has won 16 of the last 17. This year the two are very close in rushing yards per game, but UNC has gotten better as the season has gone on while State has gotten worse.

Also, UNC's rush defense ranks at the top of the ACC allowing just 94 ypg on the ground.

I like North Carolina to exact revenge for the 31 point beat down they suffered last year by covering this 5.5 point spread.

North Carolina Wins
North Carolina Covers -5.5

Boston College Eagles at Maryland Terrapins
Saturday 3:30PM TV: ESPNU

Line: BC -6.5

Boston College hopes to stop their losing streak at one just like they have all year bouncing back after a loss. Maryland has not won since beating Atlantic Division champ Clemson back on October 3rd.

BC QB Dave Shinskie had a rough game last week, but just like his team he has bounced back the following week.

The Eagles don't have flashy statistics, but are winning by capitalizing on their opportunities. BC ranks second in the league in red zone offensive and defensive efficiency.

But I did see some improvement last week in Maryland who should have beaten FSU. And Boston College has not been the same team away from Chesnut Hill this season needing a late touchdown to over come Virginia for their only road win of the season.

I think BC pulls this one out, but closer than Vegas thinks.

Boston College Wins
Maryland Covers +6.5

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Duke Blue Devils
Saturday Noon ET TV: Raycom

Line: WF -4.5

Wake looks for their 10th straight win in this series when they travel to Durham to face the Blue Devils. After a fast start by Duke standards, David Cutcliffe's club has dropped their past three and is out of bowl contention.

The Deacons have had some close calls against them this season losing five games by three points or less.

I think this game goes right down to the wire with two Senior QBs wrapping up their careers in what amounts to a bowl game for both teams.

I like Wake to come out on top and finally win a close one.

Wake Forest Wins
Duke Covers +4.5

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