College Football Picks: Capital One Orange Bowl Preview

Dec 30, 2017

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ACC teams have consistently performed well as small underdogs in postseason play, posting a profitable 30-13-2 ATS mark when getting fewer than seven points. Since 1999, bowl underdogs between the ACC and Big Ten Conference are a remarkable 15-4 SU and 17-1-1 ATS since 1999. Let’s also note that ACC bowl underdogs are 9-2 SU and 10-0-1 ATS versus Big Ten Conference foes and 14-2 ATS when entering postseason play off a double-digit loss.

ACC squads have played extremely well in “New Year’s 6” level bowl games as evidenced by their 9-4 SU and 10-3 ATS record in these affairs. One final technical nugget: underdogs are 25-11 ATS in bowl games involving teams hailing from the ACC since 2013.

Miami finished the regular season with back-to-back losses, including a 38-3 defeat to Clemson in the ACC Title game. That disappointing finish has bettors siding with the Badgers, who finished the season 12-1.

The disparate finishes provide us with excellent value on the Hurricanes, who are motivated by the fact that they are underdogs despite playing at home in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

The Hurricanes were undefeated at home in 2017 where they averaged 36.9 points and 466 total yards per game at 7.1 yards per play and 12.6 yards per point. Overall, Miami’s offense is 0.4 yards per rush play, 0.6 yards per pass play and 0.6 yards per play better than average from the line of scrimmage.

Miami also possesses a very good defense that is 0.8 yards per play better than average (4.7 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yards per play against a mediocre stop unit).

Wisconson running back Jonathan Taylor, a freshman who will be playing in the biggest game of his collegiate career, will struggle to find room against the Hurricanes’ stifling run defense. Taylor was the best freshman back in the FBS, finishing with 1,847 yards and 13 touchdowns on 273 carries.

Wisconsin’s ground attack is 1.0 yards per play better than average but the Hurricanes’ defense has been 0.9 yards per rush attempt better than average this season so these units are basically even from the trenches.

Miami’s defense also played exceptionally well against elite opposition, limiting Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and Clemson to 90 yards per game below their season average. The Hurricanes upset both Virginia Tech and Notre Dame at home, winning by 18 and 33 points, respectively.

The Fighting Irish had (and still have) a potent rush attack that was averaging 7.0 yards per carry when they clashed with Miami on November 11; the Hurricanes limited Notre Dame to just 109 rushing yards in that game.

Wisconsin’s strength of schedule is highly suspect in that the Badgers were double-digit favorites in all but one game in the regular season. Despite a soft schedule, Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw fifteen interceptions so expect to see the turnover chain out on Miami’s sideline.

With Miami standing at 4-0 ATS at home versus teams with a winning record, grab the points with the Hurricanes as one of Oskeim Sports’ Free College Football Picks for Saturday, December 30.

Oskeim Sports’ Free College Football Picks:

  • Miami Florida (+6.5) over Wisconsin