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Miami - FL vs. Toledo,
9-15-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#115 Miami - FL
Hurricanes -11.5
#116 Toledo
Rockets 56.5

Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 12:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Miami - FL Hurricanes

1 - 1

1-1
ATS
2-0
O/U
46
PPG
16
OPPG

Toledo Rockets

1 - 0

1-0
ATS
0-0
O/U
65
PPG
2
OPPG

Betting Trends

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No. 21 Miami at Toledo

Having regained its swagger back after a record-setting victory, No. 21 Miami looks to further that momentum Saturday at Toledo to complete a sweep of the home-and-home series.

Canes coming off record-setting thrashing of Savannah State

Miami (1-1) took out its frustrations from a season-opening loss to then-No. 25 LSU by throttling Savannah State 77-0 last Saturday.

Nine different Hurricanes players scored touchdowns as Miami eclipsed its record for margin of victory, established with a 70-0 waxing of the hapless Tigers in 2013. Miami outgained Savannah State 494-78 in total yards as starting quarterback Malik Rosier and backup N’Kosi Perry combined to complete 17 of 26 passes for 224 yards and five touchdowns.

The rout ended a four-game losing streak dating back to last season for the Hurricanes, who opened 2017 with 10 victories before fading down the stretch.

“Winning is a lot more fun than losing,” Mark Richt told Miami’s official website. “We lost four in a row, as everybody knows. Sometimes people like to remind us of that and I don’t blame them, but it was good to get a victory today. It was good to play a lot of people today. Our fans got a chance to see some young guys.”

It was a needed bounce-back game for Rosier, who completed just 15 of 35 passes and was picked off twice in the loss to LSU and sacked four times. Jeff Thomas had a 67-yard catch and run for a touchdown as part of a productive day in which he accounted for 183 all-purpose yards. He leads the team with six catches for 199 yards and a score.

Toledo hosting first AP Top 25 opponent since 2014

The Rockets (1-0) shrewdly set up their schedule for a potential ambush of the Hurricanes, using one of their bye weeks last Saturday after drilling FCS foe VMI 66-3 in their season opener Sept. 1.

This is the first home game against a ranked opponent for Toledo since a 49-24 loss to then-No. 24 Missouri on Sept. 6, 2014.

Mitchell Guadgani was effective in his first collegiate start, completing 11 of 16 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns versus the Keydets. Toledo rolled up 603 yards of total offense, with freshman Bryant Koback pacing the running game with 67 yards and a pair of scores.

“I thought he was very good,” Rockets coach Jason Candle said post-game of Guadgani. “There will be a couple things we’ll have to fix, but for the most part he did what we asked him to do. He made great decisions, took care of the football, showed accuracy, and made guys around him better. He did a good job controlling and dictating the pace of the game.”

All three of Guadgani’s touchdown passes covered at least 38 yards, with Cody Thompson, Diontae Johnson and Jon’Vea Johnson all hauling in scoring passes.

Toledo’s defense forced three turnovers, something it did only once last season when it finished with a plus-1 margin and forced 20 miscues. The Rockets have lost their last two games to Top 25 foes, including a 52-30 loss at Miami last year in which they held a 16-10 halftime lead but then gave up four touchdowns in a 9:13 span bridging the third and fourth quarters.

Their last home victory over a ranked opponent was a 29-23 triumph over then-No. 21 Cincinnati on Oct. 20, 2012.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Obviously, the Hurricanes are not as good as their 77-point thrashing of an FCS team dropping to Division II next season, but it was a needed win for their defense to get back on track. Miami limited Savannah State to 1.8 yards per play and more importantly, forced four turnovers after failing to notch one against LSU.

That is where Miami’s identity has been forged under Richt since the start of last season, most notably in the form of the “Turnover Chain” that made its return in the lopsided victory. The Hurricanes forced 27 turnovers in their 10-0 start last year but had just four in losing the final three games.

They should have a solid chance to fluster Guadgani, who made the most of an overmatched FCS opponent himself. There will also be no overlooking Toledo after last year’s game in which the Rockets led well into the third quarter before a fumble helped fuel Miami’s 28-point run.

Rosier threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns against Toledo in last year’s win and should be able to again find creases against the Rockets defense. Miami churned out 587 yards in that win, and while racking up a high total may not be as likely on the road, the Hurricanes should have enough firepower to win comfortably.

Prediction: Pick: Miami -9.5 points

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Though the teams combined for 82 points in last year’s game in Miami, Toldeo will be hard-pressed to match the 30 it scored in the loss considering this will be Guadgani’s first start versus an FBS team. This game could wind up being somewhat similar to last year, with the Hurricanes pulling away in the second half with simply fewer points being scored.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 56.5 points

Full-Game Prop Bet
Rating:

Though the Rockets did score 30 points in last year’s meeting, that was with a senior quarterback in Logan Woodside who set the school record for passing yards by the end of his career. Guadgani may eventually turn into a good quarterback for Toledo, but it feels like a reach to expect him to direct three touchdown drives against the Hurricanes in his first start against an FBS opponent.

Prediction: Pick: Toledo UNDER 23.5 points

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

The chance to get the Hurricanes giving less than a touchdown, even on the road, against a quarterback making his first start against an FBS opponent is too good to let slip by. Miami’s defense should force at least one turnover in the opening two quarters while the offense does enough to take a lead of at least one touchdown.

Prediction: Pick: Miami -6.5 points

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

With the expectation of Miami’s defense to perform well in this game, and enough of an atmosphere with Toledo keeps the game competitive in the first two quarters, the under should pull through in this contest.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 29.5 points

Half-Time Prop Prediction
Rating:

Despite scoring 11 touchdowns versus Savannah State, Miami did not score its first one until more than 11 minutes had elapsed. The first score in its game against LSU did not come until after more than six minutes had passed. If Toledo wins the toss, the ‘Canes defense should be good enough to force a stop and make this pick stand.

Prediction: Pick: NO to score in first 5:30 (-125)

Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73)

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.

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