Miami starts its quest for a second straight ACC title game when it hosts North Carolina on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in the conference-opener for the Hurricanes. Both clubs are looking to build on impressive victories last week. North Carolina notched its first win of the season when it rallied to beat Pittsburgh, while Miami made strides on both sides of the ball in its win over Florida International. In the latest Miami vs. UNC odds, the Hurricanes are 17.5-point favorites, down from an opener of 19 at some books. The over-under for total points scored has moved to 57 after opening at 56.

Before you make any Miami vs. North Carolina picks, listen to what SportsLine expert Emory Hunt has to say. Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has provided his followers with winning seasons in college and pro football. 

Hunt has had a particularly sharp eye when it comes to the ACC. In fact, he is 6-1 in his past seven point-spread picks involving UNC or Miami, with five of those winners coming on the Tar Heels. Last year, he was acutely tuned into their tendencies while hitting five straight ATS picks involving UNC football. Anyone who has followed his advice is way up. 

Now, he has turned his attention to Thursday's North Carolina vs. Miami game. Hunt has scoured every aspect of this matchup and released a strong point-spread selection. It's only available at SportsLine.

Hunt knows the Hurricanes have some momentum as they have notched three straight wins following a season-opening loss to LSU. They also might have a sense of rejuvenation after getting solid quarterback play in Saturday's 31-17 win over Florida International. Backup N'Kosi Perry relieved an ineffective Malik Rosier in the first half and got the Hurricanes rolling. He finished 17-of-25 for 224 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Travis Homer added 114 rushing yards and a touchdown. 

Last year, Rosier won a three-way competition for the quarterback job and played reasonably well most of the way. However, he struggled against upper-tier opponents and Miami had issues moving the ball against the likes of Clemson in the ACC title game and in its bowl game against Wisconsin. Rosier started under center again this season, but came under scrutiny for a subpar showing in a season-opening loss against LSU. Richt has declined to name a starter for Thursday's UNC vs. Miami game.

Despite their three-game win streak, the Hurricanes aren't a sure thing to cover the spread against a North Carolina club coming off a big victory of its own. The Tar Heels (1-2) will be looking to build off a 38-35 comeback win over Pittsburgh in which their offense and defense stepped up at key times. Quarterback Nathan Elliott turned in a career-best performance, throwing for 313 yards and two scores while completing 71 percent of his passes. Ohio State transfer Antonio Williams rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns. 

The Tar Heels showed needed signs of progress against Pittsburgh, particularly in a second half in which they allowed just seven points while the offense came alive at the right time.

Hunt has scoured every aspect of this matchup and while we can tell you he's leaning 0ver, he has unearthed the critical x-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He's only sharing it at SportsLine. 

Who covers North Carolina-Miami? And what critical x-factor decides the spread? Visit SportsLine now to see which side is a must-back Thursday, all from an accomplished handicapper who's hitting 86 percent of his picks involving these teams.