Miami Hurricanes (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Louisville Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date and Time: Monday, September 1, 8:00pm
Where: Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium – Louisville, KY
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIA +3.5 /LOU -3.5
Over/Under Total: 53.5
Monday night, after you are finished with all of your cookouts and parties; grad a shower, sit down, relax, and tune in to ESPN to see the Miami Hurricanes travel into Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium to take on the Louisville Cardinals. This is the first game for Louisville as a member of the ACC and they have a shot right off the bat to make a statement and show they are a legit contender to possibly compete with Florida State and Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division. While Louisville is trying to start their own legacy in the conference, Miami is looking to get back on top. The Hurricanes are being picked by many experts to face Florida State in the ACC title game this coming December. Both teams are replacing their quarterbacks so this game could go either way since neither kid has performed on the big stage just yet. The line opens with the Cardinals as a 3.5 point home favorite over the ‘Canes. Lets break this game down and take a look at who the smart money should be placed on.
Like I already stated, the Lousville Cardinals are making their first appearance as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). They have been placed in the Atlantic Division where Florida State and Clemson have been the big dogs for the last few years, but one thing we have all learned by watching college football, anything is possible. The biggest news all off-season for Louisville was the fact that their coach Charlie Strong left to take the job at Texas, but the Cardinals were rewarded with the rehiring of their most successful coach in the early 2000’s, Bobby Petrino. I will not get into my opinion on Mr. Petrino, but no matter what you think about him as a person, he is still an offensive genius when it comes to coaching football. Louisville has their coach and the scheme in place to be a success, now they have to find the replacement for their legendary QB, Teddy Bridgewater. Now that Teddy is throwing passing for the Vikings, Louisville has called on Will Gardner to take over the reigns. Gardner is a sophomore who has only thrown for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns in his short career as a Cardinal, but believe me, those numbers will increase as he runs the Petrino offense this coming season. Louisville has their head man and their quarterback, but they did take a blow to the offense with DeVante Parker now being out up to six weeks with a foot injury. Parker was the Cardinals leading wide out last season tallying 885 yards of receiving and scoring 12 touchdowns. The loss of Parker will be big, but I still believe the offense will be as explosive as ever. Another coaching change for the Cardinals was the acquisition of Todd Grantham as the defensive coordinator. Grantham left the University of Georgia on his own decision (or so they say) after taking a lot of heat from the fans and alumni of the Bulldogs after the Georgia defense failed to perform, even with some of the top recruits in the land. Grantham will get a shot to redeem himself in the ACC and build a Louisville defense that can contend for a title. Being in the Atlantic Division along side of Florida State and Clemson will be tough, but if Louisville gets the offense rolling, things could be fun.
The Miami Hurricanes have been a staple of Monday night, Labor Day football for most of the last decade. This week they will travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals. Miami comes in unranked but if you talk to most of their fans they truly believe “The U Is Back.” Although we have been hearing this since 2007, I tend to think that this season, Miami could possibly make a run at an ACC title. They recently named true freshman, Brad Kaaya, as the starting quarterback. Kaaya is a pro-style QB that was rated as the 7th best high school quarterback in the nation last year by many polls and scouting services. Miami head coach, Al Golden indicated that this kid isn’t your typical freshman QB and will have no problem leading this team from the start. If Miami plans on going into Louisville and getting a win, not only will this kid need to shine on the big stage for the fist time, but the Miami defense will need to slow down the Cardinals offensive attack.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This game is a tough one to take. A 3.5 spread for the home team in this one seems to be handicapped just about right. Last season these two teams met in the Russell Athletic Bowl, and Louisville manhandled Miami by a score of 36-9. Bridgewater was lights out and the Cardinals were simply unstoppable. Miami has revenge on their minds, but remember, these are not the same two teams we saw last season. I am going to base this selection simply on the fade. I am fading the public here. Many people are still thinking about that bowl game, and the people know Petrino is back in Louisville. Money is hitting the Cardinals side hard. Take the Canes. Miami may not win this game, but I see it going down to the wire and a 3 point win for the Cardinals mean we would win by .5 point against Vegas. PICK: MIAMI +3.5. Bet this game for FREE by depositing $500 into a betting account at Bovada Sportsbook and they will put an extra $250 in your account!