HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsMiami (OH) vs. Appalachian State Predictions, Best Bets & Odds for Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl

Miami (OH) vs. Appalachian State Predictions, Best Bets & Odds for Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl

The 2023 NCAAF bowl season continues on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET when the Mid-American Conference champion Miami (OH) meets Sun Belt Conference runner-up Appalachian State at FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Image: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Miami has won five straight, including a 24-13 victory over Toledo in the MAC Championship game. Meanwhile, in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game, Troy snapped Appalachian State’s five-game winning streak.

Please join me as I break this one down with a free pick for Miami (OH) and Appalachian State for Saturday, December 16.

Miami (OH) vs. Appalachian State Betting Odds Analysis

Miami (OH) opened as a +4.5 underdog on December 3, but that number rose to its present +6.5 with news that RedHawks quarterback Aveon Smith hit the transfer portal and won’t be playing. Before the Smith announcement, Miami (OH) was as low as +3.5 underdog. Is Smith really worth as many as three points?

FanDuel opened a total of 51.5 points, but that number slowly descended to 44.5 at all the major Ohio sportsbooks. That’s a sharp plunge, and obviously, due to transfer portal news regarding Smith and App State leading rusher Nate Noel transferring from the Mountaineers.

Miami (OH) vs. Appalachian State Best Bet

The transfer portal hit both teams hard, but the spread jumping to App State -6.5 is an overreaction to Smith transferring and not dressing. Miami took a bigger hit, losing a pair of experienced offensive linemen with 69 combined starts.

Smith is more of a runner, and his absence doesn’t seem to justify the three-point rise in the spread. Miami has more than enough offensive personnel to pick up the slack, but where the RedHawks make their money is on the defensive side of the ball, and that group hasn’t gone anywhere.

The Miami (OH) defense is robust. They allowed the seventh-fewest points per game and surrendered six touchdowns over their last 22 quarters. That group allowed 17 TDs in 36 red zone attempts and blocked five field goals. The RedHawks’ defense recorded the 26th-most sacks per game and boasts six defensive starters with 20+ starts each.

App State has a good quarterback in Joey Aguilar. The young man threw for 3546 yards with 35 scoring strikes and nine interceptions. Aguilar is coming off a difficult game against Troy, where he failed to throw a TD pass, was sacked five times, but completed 71% of his passes for 275 yards. He has five Mountaineers on the roster, and each has one game where they hauled in 93+ yards worth of receptions and a TD.

Losing leading ground gainer Nate Noel to the portal will hurt App State a bit, but they have second-leading rusher Kanye Roberts to rely on. Roberts rushed for a pair of TDs against Troy and ran for 648 yards with a team-high seven rushing TDs.

I like Miami (OH) to cover the spread.

The RedHawks didn’t score much anyway and relied on its defense to win games, so an unproven quarterback under center isn’t as big a deal as some make it out to be. Miami will successfully run the football against a Mountaineers rushing defense, allowing 174 yards per game.

Over their last 13 games, App State has played in 10 one-possession games and is 10-3 in those games. Aguliar is a good quarterback, but he’s up against one of the best defenses in college football.

The RedHawks allow the 27th-fewest passing yards with 54 passes defended, 10 interceptions, and five fumble recoveries. The special teams have blocked five field goals, and as good as the App State offense is, they will have a difficult time against a Miami defense ranked 26th in sacks.

My best bet: Miami RedHawks +6.5 (-105) at FanDuel Ohio

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