The Miami Hurricanes are 5-3 outright over the last eight meetings with North Carolina, but the Tar Heels are 2-1 straight up over the last three meetings and 3-0 against the spread. Who's the smart bet for Thursday night's ACC Coastal Division battle in South Florida?
College football point spread: The Hurricanes opened as 20-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 35.6-14.9 Hurricanes (College football picks on every game)
Why the North Carolina Tar Heels can cover the spread
The Tar Heels just picked up their first victory of this season, outlasting Pitt last week 38-35. UNC drove its first two possessions of the game 70 and 75 yards to touchdowns but trailed 28-21 at the half. The Heels then scored the first 17 points out of the locker room for a 38-28 lead and hung on from there for the outright victory as three-point home dogs.
On the day, North Carolina produced 486 yards on offense, as quarterback Nathan Elliot, who only completed 51 percent of his passes the first two games of this season, hit on 22 of 31 throws for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, after giving up 297 yards and 28 points in the first half the Tar Heels defense held the Panthers to 100 yards and just seven points in the second half.
Last year North Carolina gave Miami a good game, lost 24-19 but covered easily as a 21-point dog.
Why the Miami Hurricanes can cover the spread
The Hurricanes are off to a 3-1 start to this season, after taking care of business last week against Florida International 31-17. And that game wasn't as close as that final score might indicate. Miami led 7-0 after one quarter, 24-0 at the half and 31-0 well into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for those who bet them as 26-point favorites the Hurricanes then allowed the Panthers to score 17 meaningless points over the last seven minutes to give away the cash.
On the day Miami out-gained FIU 488-187, and the vast majority of the yardage the Hurricanes defense allowed came in garbage time in the fourth quarter. Miami also ran the ball for 248 yards while backup quarterback N'Kosi Perry connected on 17 of 25 throws for 224 yards and three scores.
The Hurricanes might find themselves with a bit of a quarterback situation this week, but if they go with Perry and he plays like last week, when he led the team on touchdown drives his first two possessions, they'll be fine.
Smart betting pick
The Tar Heels are coming off a big effort last week against Pitt and could be ripe for a letdown this week. Miami, meanwhile, could be really dangerous if it starts getting consistent play at quarterback. The smart money here gives the points with the Hurricanes.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in five of North Carolina's last six games vs Miami.
North Carolina is 2-9 SU and 2-8-1 ATS in its last 11 games on the road in September.
North Carolina is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.