New Era Pinstripe Bowl Spread: Miami vs. Wisconsin Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Dec 13, 2018

wisconsin badgers

The Miami Hurricanes will face off against the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2018 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Miami
7-5
AT
December 27, 2018, 5:15 PM ET
Yankee Stadium
Wisconsin
7-5
Pointspread -2.5 -120
Moneyline -150
Over / Under o +44
Pointspread +2.5 +100
Moneyline +130
Over / Under u +44

The Miami Hurricanes were just hit by a big coaching change before their bowl game. The Wisconsin Badgers haven’t faced that kind of disruption, but they have bigger problems to worry about. Such is the backdrop to a game between two teams who played in a bowl game a season ago… but in the Orange Bowl, not the Pinstripe Bowl.

Betting Analysis

The Wisconsin Badgers began to sense they were in trouble when they lost to BYU in Week 3 of the season. They never really solidified or stabilized. They were an incomplete team all year. Their main limitation was quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who never managed to turn the corner. Yet, the Badgers will have had a month to get healthy for this game, having endured a lot of injuries on defence. Not all of those injured players will be able to return for the bowl game, but even getting one or two starters back will help.

The Miami Hurricanes face the bigger pre-bowl transition and adjustment phase, compared to Wisconsin. On Wednesday afternoon, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz took the open head coaching job at Temple. Diaz was the best assistant coach on Mark Richt’s staff. He led a superb defence which carried the Hurricanes to the Orange Bowl and an ACC Coastal Division title last year. His defence remained solid this season; Miami’s offence is what held back the Canes. His absence leaves a large void on this staff, and the defence might have a harder time adjusting for the Wisconsin rushing attack.

Miami Hurricanes

The Wisconsin Badgers were supposed to be very good this season, chiefly because they regularly have a strong offensive line, and partly because they had Jonathan Taylor, a star running back, returning to this season’s roster. What they couldn’t have known was that the whole starting secondary would get injured midway through the season, and that quarterback Alex Hornibrook would sharply regress from his 2017 season. Last year, Hornibrook made a lot of accurate throws on third down. He wasn’t brilliant, but he made the key throws he had to make. He had a sense of the moment. This year, however, Hornibrook wasn’t good on third down, second down, first down, or any down. He played terribly.

Hornibrook was inaccurate or sloppy for most of the season. Wisconsin could not count on him to make basic plays in losses to BYU, Michigan and Northwestern. The Badgers scored fewer than 20 points in those games, and the offence was similarly hamstrung with backup quarterback Jack Coan in a late-season loss to Penn State when Hornibrook was injured. Hornibrook struggled in a season-ending loss to Minnesota.

Wisconsin Badgers

The Hurricanes are wondering how to replace Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator, but their first need is to solve their own quarterback situation, much like Wisconsin. Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry both struggled profoundly at quarterback this season, which is why Mark Richt lost all goodwill in the program after his excellent 2017 coaching performance. Richt could not settle on a No. 1 quarterback during the season, and while Miami fans wanted the younger Perry to get a full chance, Richt stuck with Rosier most of the time. This was a mess. Richt needs to get Perry snaps in this bowl game and show that his quarterback of the future can improve in time for the start of the 2019 season.

Miami lost four straight games in the second half of the season. In those four games, three which were quarterbacked by Rosier, Miami averaged 15 points per game. That won’t cut it.

Hurricanes vs. Badgers Prediction

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