UAB Blazers vs. Miami Hurricanes Betting Picks

September 9, 2020

UAB Blazers Preview

Date: Thursday, September 10th

Time: 8:00 PM ET

Venue: Hard Rock Stadium

Network: ACC Network

Spread: Miami -14

O/U: 54.5

The University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers started the season off with a 45-35 win over the Central Arkansas Bears. The game was close throughout, though the Blazers never did give up the lead once they got it. They leaned heavily on the rushing attack, running the ball 49 times to just 34 total passes. After a disappointing 2019 season, Spencer Brown looked like his old self with 127 yards (5.3 YPC) and a score. He was complimented beautifully by Jermaine Brown Jr., who added another score and 75 yards on 17 carries. 

The passing game was opened up by the effective running game and the combination of Tyler Johnston and Bryson Lucero threw for 226 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception against the Bears. Senior-pass catchers Austin Watkins (7 Rec, 72 Yds) and Gerrit Prince (4 Rec, 31 Yds, 2 TD) led the way to round out what was a great offensive effort. Defensively, not so much. They allowed Central Arkansas to march down the field too easily and there wasn’t much pressure in the backfield at any point in the game. If they want to keep it close with the Miami Hurricanes, this defensive line will have to step up in a big way. 

If the Blazers plan on keeping the game close with Miami, they better control the pace. The Hurricanes were solid against the run a season ago and allowed just over 120 rushing yards per game, ranking 31st in the FBS. With that being said, they’ve lost some crucial defensive linemen and the Blazers will look to get Brown going early. They’ll also need to stop, or at least slow D’Eriq King down. We’ll dive into him shortly, but he’s one of the most electric players in College Football and is a handful for any defense. 

Miami Hurricanes Preview

The 2019 season was an up and down one for the Hurricanes, but a disappointing result overall by just about every measure. They lost their first two games of the season and ended up going a middling 6-6. The Tate Martell experiment simply didn’t work. They were then embarrassingly shut out 14-0 by the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the Walk On’s Independence Bowl. They’ll look to put last year in the rearview mirror as incoming 2018 Heisman-contender D’Eriq King looks to ignite a spark. 

King is no ordinary transfer. He’s one of the best College Football players in the country and any team in the nation would have welcomed him with open arms. The 2018 season brought King into the spotlight as the dual-threat QB passed for 2,982 yards and 36 TD’s on top of another 674 rushing yards and 14 TD’s. King can do it all, and he’s now going to have the ability to show his worth in front of a much bigger audience. The ‘Canes brought in Rhett Lashlee at OC from SMU and he’s going to completely revolutionize this offense. 

Leading receiver K.J. Osborn has departed to the NFL, and he will be replaced by three receivers that sat in the background last season and picked up valuable experience. The new WRX will be Dee Wiggins and he’ll be joined on the outside by Mark Pope. Mike Harley will man the slot and he’s the most likely contender to take a big step forward. Brevin Jordan is one of the best tight ends in College Football and I expect King to lean on him heavily. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Miami -14

The UAB Blazers defense didn’t look very good in game one and it was the squad they leaned on for all of 2019. The offense just doesn’t have enough firepower to hold this team above water and the Miami Hurricanes aren’t going to allow so many mistakes. The new-look Hurricanes spread offense is going to move at a much quicker pace and they might have the best QB in CFB at the helm. 

This is likely the last chance for Manny Diaz after how 2019 went, so expect the Hurricanes to come out on fire for their HC. The Hurricanes offense will pass more than ever and will look to find their groove early and to pick up a quick lead. UAB had trouble stopping Central Arkansas through the air, who’s a rather inept offense overall. I love the Hurricanes in this game as they look to make a big statement going into this strange season. 

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Total Prediction

Both of these teams have leaned on their defenses in past years, so it’s tough to see this game shooting out. With that being said, the addition of Rhett Lashlee and D’Eriq King is going to completely change the look of this offense and their new goal will be to score points. Not hold on to the ball for as long as possible and play the field position battle. I don’t expect the UM offense to have any problem moving the ball and the Blazers redzone defense was pitiful in week 0. UAB isn’t a flashy offense, but they do find a way to put up points and I expect somewhere around two scores. Give me the over here as I fully expect Miami to approach 40 points by themselves. 

The Pick: Over 54.5
Final Score Prediction: Miami 42, UAB 17
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