College football has started again – at least for some teams. And it’s quite plausible that when evaluating our UAB Blazers vs. Miami Hurricanes spread pick & prediction at CentSports, the free online sportsbook, we take into consideration the relative lack of time one of these programs has had in the way of installing a new offensive approach.
Game time for this inter-conference encounter is 7 PM ET on Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
At Miami, they hope that a shakeup in terms of the coaching staff will produce results. Last year’s offensive showing was beyond disastrous. And the performance in the Independence Bowl – a 14-0 shutout loss to Louisiana Tech – was depressing. That was Manny Diaz’s first year as head coach (he had formerly been the defensive coordinator). And he was given the opportunity to take things in a different direction.
So he reached out and hired Rhett Lashlee as offensive coordinator. Lashlee, who learned at the feet of Gus Malzahn, ran the wide-open offense at SMU for the previous four seasons.
And a new trigger man was found. He isn’t unknown to college football bettors – not by a longshot. D’Eriq King accounted for 50 touchdowns a couple of seasons ago at Houston (36 passing, 14 rushing) and he is exactly the dual threat Lashlee can do a lot with.
Of course, that will only happen if there is protection, which is something the Hurricanes lacked last season. When you give up 51 sacks, you have to go through a makeover. So another Houston transfer – Jarrid Williams – has come over and will take over at right tackle, enabling John Campbell to move to the left side. Without spring practice, they have had a short schedule to make the transition.
UAB Blazers vs. Miami Hurricanes spread pick & prediction at CentSports
The college football odds by which we will make our UAB Blazers vs. Miami Hurricanes spread pick & prediction at CentSports, the free online sportsbook, has the ‘Canes laying almost two touchdowns:
Miami Hurricanes -13.5
UAB Blazers +13.5
Over 54.5 points -110
Under 54.5 points -110
UAB has been in the Sun Belt Conference championship game two years in a row. And they have been doing it with defense. This was a stop unit that ranked eighth in the nation, and they are not only bringing back a standout linebacker duo in Jordan Smith and Kristopher Moll, but a secondary with some holdovers, in addition to Brontae Harris, a mainstay who missed last season with an injury.
On offense, this is a team that is most likely to try the ground route. Spencer Brown and Jermaine Brown have the potential to make for a very effective duo in the backfield. Some balance can be achieved with wideout Austin Watkins, who is coming off a thousand-yard season. There are some questions, however, swirling around quarterback Tyler Johnston, who had just a 17-15 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.
Despite UAB’s strong defensive numbers from 2019, the best unit on the field Thursday night will be the Miami stop unit. In fact, the ‘Canes were third nationally in defensive efficiency and they must have gotten pretty frustrated with the offense last year. With bookend pass rushers Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche – both among the nation’s best last season – they could make life very uncomfortable for Johnston. And there are athletes all over the place.
That indeed represents a big edge for Miami. We acknowledge that UAB has covered 65% of its games against the spread since reinstating the program in 2017. But when stepping up in class, the Blazers have been embarrassed. And that’s why we’re thinking that if the Hurricanes can execute the new scheme, they can create some distance. So we’ll lay the points in our UAB Blazers vs. Miami Hurricanes spread pick & prediction at CentSports, the sportsbook where you can always enjoy free betting.