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Miami at North Carolina: What bettors need to know

Miami Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels (+9.5, 64.5)

Miami takes its No. 11 ranking and seven-game winning streak to North Carolina for a prime-time ACC matchup with the Tar Heels on Thursday night. North Carolina will have Bryn Renner back under center after he sat out a 27-17 loss at No. 20 Virginia Tech with a foot injury, but the Tar Heels will be hard-pressed to get the air game going against Miami's stiff pass defense. The Tar Heels haven't beaten a ranked team since knocking off No. 24 Florida State in 2010.

The Hurricanes are facing their first big road test and expect a hostile environment under the lights, regardless of North Carolina's early struggles. "We're going to be facing a great challenge and an excellent team on Thursday night," Miami coach Al Golden told reporters. "Records really don't matter. Records are talking about the past. We know what type of team we're going to see." The Tar Heels have won four of the past six meetings, including an 18-14 victory last year in Miami.

TV: 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: Miami opened as an 8-point favorite and has been bet up to -9.5. The total opened at 63.5 and moved to 64.5.

WEATHER:
Temperatures in the mid 60s with a 24 percent chances of rain and winds blow WSW at 4 mph.

ABOUT MIAMI (5-0, 1-0 ACC Coastal, 4-1 ATS): The Hurricanes boast one of the best pass defenses in the nation as they have allowed only two passing touchdowns - the fewest in the country - and have recorded 18 sacks. The offense has been equally impressive recently as Miami has put up 40 or more points in three straight games and looks to make it four straight for the first time since 1987. The Hurricanes have been balanced with Stephen Morris (950 pass yards, nine touchdowns, four interceptions) and Duke Johnson (572 rushing yards, four TDs) leading the way.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (1-4, 0-2, 1-4 ATS): The Tar Heels have struggled on both sides of the ball in coach Larry Fedora's second season, dropping three straight since a 40-20 victory over Middle Tennessee. North Carolina has gained at least 400 total yards in 14 of 17 games under Fedora but only two of five games this season. The offense is still loaded with potential, though, with tight end Eric Ebron (23 catches, 333 yards, two touchdowns) and receiver Quinshad Davis (19 catches, 298 yards, four TDs) giving Renner a pair of terrific targets.

TRENDS:

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in North Carolina.
* Underdog is 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine meetings.
* Hurricanes are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
* Tar Heels are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Miami is 15-3 all-time in Thursday night games on ESPN while North Carolina is 6-5, including a 27-10 season-opening loss at South Carolina this year.

2. North Carolina has made 189 consecutive extra-point attempts - the second-longest active streak in the nation (Texas Tech, 239) - over a span of 55 games.

3. Morris needs 184 yards to become the sixth 6,000-yard passer in school history and 243 yards to pass Vinny Testaverde (6,058) for fourth on Miami's all-time list.

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