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Week 1: Miami (FL) vs. Florida A+M Preview & Pick

Miami Hurricanes vs Florida A+M Gambling Preview + Predictions

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Date/Time: Thursday, September 2, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Sun Life Stadium
Miami (FL) (0-0) vs Florida A&M (0-0) Lines
Moneyline: Hurricanes vs Rattlers NO Money Lines Yet
CFB betting favorite: No spread yet
Over/Under: No over/under yet
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(13) Miami (FL)

The No. 13 Miami Hurricanes commence what many bettors believe will be a banner season on Thursday night. Above all else, they’ll rest their hopes on quarterback Jacory Harris. A Heisman Trophy candidate this year, Harris threw for 3,353 yards and 24 scores last season – his first as a starter.

Harris, who stands 6’4”, first reported to Miami at an amazingly lanky 168 pounds. Now, he’s bulked up to about 190 and should be better equipped to hang in the pocket and make tough throws.

Perhaps he’ll turn over the ball less if he takes more time to make his decisions; Harris threw 17 interceptions last season.

While the ’Canes may lack a proven commodity at tailback, they have plenty of talented young options. Damien Berry, Lamar Miller, Mike James and Storm Johnson and (if healthy) Graig Gooper could all carve out roles in the offense.

But Miami’s strength looks to be its defense. Whether it’s Brandon Harris in the secondary or Allen Bailey on the line, this is an extremely fast and athletic group – one that some scouts are comparing to Miami’s 2002 defense that yielded three first-round NFL draft picks.

Florida A&M

The Rattlers can hang their hats on a solid 8-3 record last season – but do they have what it takes to surprise a big boy like Miami in Week 1? [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Florida A&M could be in trouble – largely because it will trot an extremely inexperienced quarterback onto the field against a lightning-quick defense. Martin Ukpai has attempted just 13 passes in his career with the Rattlers.

He’ll at least have some veteran receiving options, such as Kevin Elliot, Adrian Smith and Isaac West, but it’s likely the Rattlers will use Ukpai conservatively in Week 1.

That means handing off to Phillip Sylvester, who didn’t rack up major yardage a year ago but did score seven times.

Defensively, Florida A&M was solid last season, allowing 25-plus points in just two games. This team doesn’t have a lot of depth but it can make plays; Curtis Holcomb, a senior corner, has nine picks in his 25 career college games.

Miami vs. Florida A&M Gambling Trends:

Miami is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
Miami is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Miami is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
Miami is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games

The pick:

Don’t be surprised if this game is a bit on the grubby side. Harris will have some kinks to work out and he’ll face a team that can actually punish him if he makes poor throws, so he and the Hurricanes may not totally light up the scoreboard.

But neither will Florida A&M. Ukpai could have a really tough time debuting against one of the country’s best defenses. Another X-factor to consider is Sun Life stadium. With the Marlins’ season not finished, football players still have to contend with dirt and uneven terrain.

The hosting Hurricanes are better versed in doing so and should have an advantage as a result.

Miami (FL) vs Florida A&M Score Prediction: Miami 33, Florida A&M 10

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