Washington State vs. Miami Sun Bowl Preview and Best Bet

Tyler Van Dyke #9 of the Miami Hurricanes throws a pass for a touchdown. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

The Sun Bowl Bowl sees the 7-5 Washington State Cougars face off against 7-5 Miami Hurricanes for the second time ever. This unique matchup is one of the tightest of the bowl season. We’ll break down this betting matchup.

Washington State Cougars vs. Miami Hurricanes

Friday, December 31, 2021- 12:00 PM EST at Sun Bowl Stadium

The 7-5 Washington State Cougars endured what were basically two separate seasons. Their midseason firing of head coach Nick Rolovich didn’t exactly propel them to a great finish (4-3 with Rolovich, 3-2 after the firing), but the blown leads stopped. The Cougars covered in eight of their 12 games.

Miami also had to endure major change as quarterback D’Eriq King failed to play well after returning from a torn ACL, and then was injured again. Backup Tyler Van Dyke helped overhaul the offense, and the Hurricanes at least held their own by covering in half their 12 games.

Here are my picks and predictions for the Sun Bowl Bowl matchup between the Cougars and the Hurricanes. All odds are available at DraftKings.

Washington State vs. Miami Odds Analysis

The line between Washington State and Miami hasn’t budged since opening with the Hurricanes seeing a 2.5-point edge. It’s clear the market isn’t sure of this matchup and it’s easy to see why. They possess completely different identities and neither has an especially reliable calling card to rely on.

The total has moved just a tad from 59 to 60. Miami has a strong offense but subpar defense, likely encouraging the rising total. Miami flirted with 60 total points for a large portion of their season, so it makes sense oddsmakers would find the common number.

Washington State vs. Miami Betting Predictions

  • Miami -2.5 (-115) 

This is a tough game to project. Washington State has a solid defense that allows their average offense to do just enough to win. Their offense barely creates more than they allow, notably being inefficient on the ground and allowing too many completions to their foes. 

This doesn’t bode well against Miami. Hurricanes freshman Tyler Van Dyke was a fantastic passer this season, making up for their own issues on the ground. It helped to have a deep array of receivers, specifically Charleston Rambo.

Rambo produced a whopping 1,172 yards and seven scores. Washington State doesn’t have any single threat nearly as dangerous, and their best playmaker will be out for personal reasons. Rusher Max Borghi has decided to skip this game.

  • Under 60 (-115) 

Washington State will muck up the field with their zone defense and limit points that are scored. Their issue is not being able to score enough. While Miami will cede points and yards to passer Jayden De Laura, there’s not a ton to be overly scared of. 

Miami will happily bend without breaking if possible. I expect Miami to be sharper and motivated with new head coach Mario Cristobal looming over the program. Washington State will be feisty but lacks the firepower to push the over and ultimately win.

NCAAF Pick: Miami -2.5 (-115) with DraftKings

NCAAF Pick: Under 60 (-115) with DraftKings