College football bowl season is here, and now it’s time to make our picks against the spread for the Bahamas Bowl between Miami (Ohio) and UAB.
Miami needed to win its final two regular season games in order to become bowl eligible, and just skated by Ball State in a 1-point decision to clinch the last win. We should see Aveon Smith at quarterback; he hit just under 49 percent of his passes for 1,137 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.
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UAB checks in with some controversy about its new head coach: players were vocal with the school about wanting to retain interim Bryant Vincent, but the Blazers went out of the box by hiring former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer instead.
What can we expect from the game? Here’s our final prediction heading into kickoff.
Bahamas Bowl: UAB vs. Miami picks, predictions against the spread
Point spread: UAB comes into the game as comfortable 10 point favorites, according to the oddsmakers.
Total: 44 points
Moneyline: UAB -390 | Miami +300
FPI prediction: UAB has the 76.7 percent chance to defeat Miami, according to the Football Power Index computer prediction model that picks winners by simulating teams’ seasons 20,000 times.
How to watch: The game is set for Dec. 16 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on the ESPN network and streams live on fuboTV (Try for free).
UAB vs. Miami: Need to know
Miami (6-6): The RedHawks dealt with an injury at quarterback for much of the season, but did just enough to become bowl eligible. Brett Gabbert played four games this year and has decided to transfer, leaving Aveon Smith as the option at starter. Overall, the Miami offense hit just 4.6 yards per play against FBS opponents, ranking 115th out of 131 nationally, averaging 20.3 points per game and just under 310 total yards.
UAB (6-6): The Blazers pulled out all the stops to get into a bowl, recovering from an early deficit against Louisiana Tech in the finale, rushing for 406 yards and over 9 yards per carry in the win. UAB averages 30.6 points per game while posting just under 442 yards, and allows 23.4 points to opponents on the year, but lost four of its last six games overall.
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UAB Football Betting Trends
+ UAB is 4-8 against the spread this season (33.3 percent)
+ Blazers are 0-3 against the spread as an underdog all season
+ The over is 4-0 in the Blazers’ last four games overall
+ UAB is 1-6 against the spread in its last 7 games total
+ UAB is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site matchups
+ Blazers are 0-5 against the spread in their last five after a straight-up win
+ The over is 1-3 in UAB’s non-conference games
Miami (OH) Football Betting Trends
+ The under is 7-0 in Miami’s last seven games in December
+ Miami is 0-4 against the spread in its last four after a straight-up win
+ RedHawks are 1-4 (20 percent) ATS after a win
+ The under is 5-0 in Miami’s last five after scoring less than 20 in its last game
+ The over is 3-9 (25%) in all of Miami’s games
+ Miami was 4-2 against the spread as an underdog this season
UAB vs. Miami (OH): The Prediction
UAB poses the greater threat here overall especially when employing its superior stable of running backs against a Miami front seven that has consistently struggled all season when defending against the run.
Miami is also not getting sufficient play from the quarterback position, giving the Blazers a distinct advantage when preventing the RedHawks from connecting on deeper pass plays. UAB has by far the advantage at quarterback.
College Football HQ Prediction: UAB -10, Over 44
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