Miami vs. Virginia odds, line: 2019 College football picks, top predictions from expert who's 11-4

Before this season, the Virginia Cavaliers had been ranked in the top 25 for just one week in the past decade. The No. 20-ranked Cavaliers have now been there for a month and are sure to move up a few spots if they beat the Miami Hurricanes on Friday night. Kickoff for the nationally televised contest comes at 8 p.m. ET from Hard Rock Stadium. Virginia comes off a bye following its first loss of the season, a 35-20 setback at Notre Dame. But the Cavaliers (4-1, 2-0) still lead the Coastal Division in the ACC race. The struggling Hurricanes (2-3, 0-2) still seek their first ACC win under first-year coach Manny Diaz and hope to bounce back from a 42-35 home loss to Virginia Tech last week. The Hurricanes are 2.5-point favorites and the over-under for total points scored is 43 in the latest Miami vs. Virginia odds. Before making your Miami vs. Virginia picks, make sure you see the college football predictions from SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel.

A Nevada-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in collegiate athletics and was SportsLine's top college football analyst last year by hitting 60 percent of his spread picks. He enters this week on a 6-3 run with his college football picks. What's more, he has had a keen sense for the tendencies of these ACC programs, posting a sterling record of 11-4 on picks involving the Cavaliers or Hurricanes over the past two seasons.

Just last week, Nagel told SportsLine members that Miami (-14) was way overvalued against a struggling Virginia Tech team that was using its second-string quarterback. The inspired Hokies scored the game's first 28 points and held off a furious Miami second-half rally to secure the straight-up victory. Anyone who followed Nagel's advice picked up another easy winner, and those who have consistently followed him are way up.

Now, he has zeroed in on Miami (Fla.) vs. Virginia from every angle and released another confident against the spread pick. He's sharing it only over at SportsLine.

Nagel has considered that Miami coach Manny Diaz comes from a defensive background and was Miami's coordinator for three seasons under Mark Richt. After the unit gave up six touchdowns to Virginia Tech, the first-year head coach told the media he plans to immediately become more involved in coaching the defense. Diaz said he intends to work directly with the defense in practice and day-to-day preparation, while still leaving play-calling duties to coordinator Blake Baker.

The Hurricanes have shown flashes of promise on the defensive side. In their opener, they limited a potent Florida club to 304 yards of total offense and just 50 rushing yards. In last year's 16-13 loss at Virginia, they held the Cavaliers to 235 total yards and forced three turnovers.

But the Hurricanes are far from a sure thing to cover the Miami vs. Virginia spread against a Cavaliers club that's on a mission to make an appearance in the ACC title game.

The Cavaliers have seen their defense become a steady force, as they rank in the top 40 nationally in most major categories. They rank fifth nationally with 24 sacks, and their rush defense is No. 21 in the country at 95.6 yards per game. Virginia is among just 24 FBS programs holding opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards per contest.

Sophomore free safety Joey Blount, who didn't become a full-time starter until the third game, has emerged as a consistent performer. Blount led the team with nine solo tackles against Notre Dame and is now second on the team with 35 for the season. Linebacker Zane Zandier leads the way with 37 tackles for the Cavaliers, who rank second behind Clemson in total defense in the ACC. 

We can tell you Nagel is leaning under, and he's also identified the critical factor that has him all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing it at SportsLine.

Who wins Virginia vs. Miami? And what critical factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Virginia vs. Miami spread you should jump on Friday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit 73 percent of his picks on these teams, and find out.

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