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Miami Pittsburgh Betting – Hurricanes Need A Bounce-Back, Panthers Need A Statement

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/24/2010 6:11:51 PM
miami pittsburgh betting

The Miami Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Panthers both entered this season with a lot of promise. They both have to deliver in a very significant non-conference clash.

NCAA football betting: Miami Hurricanes @ Pittsburgh Panthers

Online Betting Odds: Miami -3.5

Why To Bet On Miami

Why should you take Miami? Distrust Pittsburgh.

The Panthers are the team in the Big East Conference that always seems to play just well enough to lose. The Panthers blew a 31-10 lead in the de-facto Big East title game last year at home against Cincinnati, losing 45-44 because of a botched extra point in the final minutes of regulation. Pittsburgh produces puzzling results that fall short of expectations on an annual basis. Last year’s team dropped a head-scratcher at North Carolina State, and this year, a close loss at Utah – not anything to be upset about for its own sake – was made painful because the Panthers failed to get the ball to dominant wide receiver Jon Baldwin. Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti simply chose to pound the ball between the tackles with an ineffective Dion Lewis, even though Utah’s defensive front was clogging the middle and daring the Panthers to pass the ball with first-year quarterback Tino Sunseri. Can a young quarterback and an unproven team beat Miami, taking advantage of the Hurricanes’ weaknesses? That’s very much in doubt.

Why To Bet On Pittsburgh

In two words, Jacory Harris.

Miami’s starting signal caller wore down mentally in the second half of the 2009 season after a fast start in which the Hurricanes beat Oklahoma and eventual ACC champion Georgia Tech. Harris’ second-half slide in 2009 was the result of bailing out on throws, combined with the Canes’ front line, which didn’t protect him in the pocket. Some Heisman buzz surrounded Harris as 2010 began, but many pundits wondered if a profound transformation had truly taken root.

In Miami’s most recent game, a ballyhooed showdown at Ohio State, Harris was unmasked as a quarterback still fighting inconsistency. It’s true that Miami’s receivers did absolutely nothing to help out Harris against the Buckeyes. In a man’s game between the two programs who contested the 2003 Fiesta Bowl for the BCS championship, Cane receivers failed to make catches in traffic at or near the goal line. For that, Jacory Harris wasn’t responsible.

Then again, Harris did deserve blame for two of the four interceptions he tossed. Those two picks did change the flow of the game. Had it not been for Miami’s kick-returning prowess, which generated two first-half touchdowns despite the offense’s struggles, the Ohio State game would have been a runaway by halftime. With his team down by only nine points (26-17) at halftime, Harris couldn’t regroup in the second half of football. He was Ohio State’s get-well tonic, not a source of dependability for his own team. Harris truly is the best reason to take Pittsburgh.

How The Game Will Play Out

This is not an easy game to read because both of these teams are so untrustworthy. It’s likely to be a game in which many mistakes are made on both sides. The team that makes the bigger mistakes on Thursday (mistakes which will, in all probability, be the last mistakes in regulation time) will lose a close contest. Given that this game is in Pittsburgh and at night, give a slight but unconvincing nod to the Panthers.

Miami Pittsburgh Betting Pick: Pittsburgh +3.5

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