The bottom line on Saturday’s huge game between No. 7 Miami and No. 1 Clemson is that we don’t yet know how good the Hurricanes are. Everyone knows how good Clemson is. The Tigers are favored to play for the national championship if the College Football Playoff is held later this season. They have a veteran offense and elite players. Miami is the question mark. As you dig deeper into this game, the trick is to accurately determine how good the visiting Hurricanes are. Let’s look more at Miami when sizing up this matchup:
Miami vs Clemson Betting Preview
Sportsbook Odds: Clemson -14
Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina
Start Time: 7:35 PM ET
Miami is 5-1 ATS in its last six games after a straight-up road win.
Clemson is 5-1 ATS in its last six games after accumulating more than 280 passing yards in its previous game.
Miami is 5-1 ATS in its last six ACC games.
The Miami Hurricanes have certainly looked great. Quarterback D’Eriq King looks legitimately dangerous, and new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is working well with his after being at at SMU the past two seasons. Miami was efficient and explosive in a blowout win over Florida State a few weeks ago. It’s rare that Miami scores at least 50 points against Florida State, but the Hurricanes were able to max out against their hated rival.
Now the question becomes, “How much does that Miami blowout of Florida State mean?” If you have been paying attention, Florida State looks atrocious. The Seminoles fell behind FCS opponent Jacksonville State by two touchdowns last weekend before rallying to win, 41-24. Florida State is a terrible team in the midst of a rebuild. Miami did not beat a good team; it beat a horrendous team. One could say that a good team crushes bad teams, and Miami certainly crushed Florida State. However, given how much Florida State and also Louisville have been struggling, Miami’s wins aren’t necessarily the grand conquests they were originally viewed to be. Miami’s wins over flawed opposition might show that the Hurricanes are good at beating bad teams, and nothing more.
Miami still has to prove it can beat Heisman Trophy contender Trevor Lawrence and elite running back Travis Etienne, part of a loaded Clemson offense that blends talent and experience. It is true that in a pandemic, playing on the road is not nearly the same disadvantage it would be if full-capacity crowds were allowed. To that extent, Miami catches a break. However, Clemson is still Clemson, and that is the biggest reason to be skeptical of Miami here.
The Clemson Tigers do not lose games such as this one. This is a well-publicized game, the featured game on national television in prime time. The Tigers are so used to playing in big moments such as these The Miami Hurricanes are not accustomed to the spotlight. They are a much-improved team, but lots of good teams still get destroyed by Clemson according to the betting odds for the national title. Miami might be ready to win big in 2021, but for 2020, Clemson still deserves the benefit of the doubt and should be seen as the heavy sports betting favorite.