There will be a rabid crowd in attendance at Appalachian State on Saturday afternoon in the biggest home game in school history as the Mountaineers host No. 25 Miami. Oddsmakers are very aware of the potential upset as UM is just a slight favorite in NCAA Football betting.
Taking a Closer Look at the Miami at Appalachian State Betting Spread, Free Pick & TV Info
When: Saturday, Sept. 17, Noon ET
Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C.
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Miami -3.5 (52.5)
Why Bet on Miami?
The Hurricanes (2-0) beat Florida Atlantic 38-10 last week. Mark Walton rushed for career highs of 155 yards and four touchdowns to become the sixth Miami back in program history to rush for four in a game. Walton scored on runs of 7, 3, 16 and 30 yards. He was suspended for much of the offseason after a drunken-driving arrest, a charge that was dropped.
Miami set a school record with 108 points in the season’s first two games, breaking the previous mark of 104 set in 1998 and matched in 2002. UM ranks second nationally in yards per carry (8.69) and touchdowns (10) and sixth in yards per game (326). Defensively, the Canes lead the nation in team tackles for loss (14.0) and rushing defense, holding opponents to just 34.5 yards per game. The Hurricanes own a 652-69 advantage over their opponents in rushing yardage through two games.
Statistically speaking, Brad Kaaya had the one of the worst games of his career in UM’s win over Florida Atlantic. His passer rating (93.69) was second-lowest of his career. He threw two interceptions for the first time since Oct. 4 of his freshman year (he threw five picks all of last year). His completion percentage (54.8) tied his third-lowest in any game.
Miami will look to move to 3-0 for the 20th time since 1950. The Hurricanes have only started 3-0 six times since 2000: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2013 and 2015. Running backs Walton and Joseph Yearby will look to surpass the century mark for the third consecutive game. Duke Johnson is the last Miami running back to rush for over 100 yards in three straight games. Kaaya currently has 46 career touchdown passes. He needs just one touchdown pass to tie former Cane and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Gino Torretta (1994-97) for sixth all-time.
Why Bet on Appalachian State?
Appalachian State will be making its sixth appearance on the primary ESPN channel, and it will be the first regular-season appearance since the Mountaineers won a Saturday home game against Western Carolina in 1979. That was the second college football game ever shown live on ESPN. The broadcast will also mark the first time that ESPN or ESPN2 shows a Saturday game played at a Sun Belt Conference school.
For the first time in modern history, the App State football team will play host to an ACC school when the Hurricanes come to town. While the Mountaineers are only in their third year of FBS play in the Sun Belt Conference, Miami head coach Mark Richt isn’t overlooking them. App, which returns 17-of- 22 starters from last season, is the favorite in the Sun Belt in 2016.
“Great program, a team that’s used to winning,” Richt said of App State. “It’s going to be a battle royale, I promise you, going into their house. No matter where you play, they’re just a great team, well-coached. I have seen their tape. I have looked at the first four opponents. It’s going to be a battle.”
In their season opener, the Mountaineers led 13-3 at the half at ranked Tennessee. The Vols forced overtime after putting up 10 unanswered points in the second half and needed a lucky fumble recovery in the end zone to pull out the win.
App State (1-1) comes off a 31-7 win over Old Dominion. Marcus Cox ran for 133 yards with three first-half touchdowns. Cox scored on runs of 1, 2, and 10 yards — all following long drives — to help build a 24-7 lead at intermission. Michael Rubino added a 20-yard field goal. Cox finished with 133 yards on 18 carries, posting his sixth career three-touchdown game. It was also his school-record 24th 100-yard game. The Apps held ODU to 2-of- 13 on third-down conversions and 0-of- 2 in the red zone.
My Free Pick
First meeting between the schools and I like Miami to cover on NCAA Football lines.