For Saturday’s Georgia Tech-Miami matchup, it appears that Miami is getting heavy betting action. Favored by as many as 7 ½ points, 66 percent of bets were being placed on the Hurricanes to cover as of Thursday, according to covers.com. However, Josh Nagel, analyst for the betting picks website Sportsline, went against the popular thinking and sided with the underdog Yellow Jackets.
“I actually like Georgia Tech a little bit in this one against the spread,” he said. “It’s kind of funny, in years past, if this was an Al Golden Miami team, I’d love Georgia Tech.”
He cited Miami’s dismissal of two key defensive players prior to the season – defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and linebacker Jermaine Grace – as part of his rationale.
“I just don’t think Miami has faced a team capable of exploiting that,” he said.
The betting line opened with Miami favored by 6 ½, but money placed on the Hurricanes caused bookmakers to push the line to 7 or 7 ½. That’s what led Nagel to side with the underdog. A seven-point spread is what’s known as a “key number” – a common margin of victory. Nagel’s perspective is that Tech would seem a better bet to stay within that margin – particularly at 7 ½ points – than for Miami to cover by more than that.
“At 6 ½, I wouldn’t like it so much,” he said.
Nagel said he saw the spread as being somewhat inflated by Tech’s 26-7 loss to Clemson and in particular the poor form that the offense showed. Nagel was confident that Tech would be able to move the ball better than it did against the Tigers and also noticed the defense getting its share of stops in the game.
“Miami’s high-powered enough to win the game by double figures,” he said. “But I think they’ve been beating up on meager competition so far. I could see them coming in and getting caught off guard.”
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