North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils
Football Point Spread Pick: North Carolina -10.5 (November 10th 2016)
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North Carolina has a lot to play for right now. The Tar Heels need to win out in ACC play and have Virginia Tech lose to be Coastal Division champions. That’s why they will not be looking past Duke this week as their goals are right in front of them still.
The same cannot be said for the Blue Devils, who are 0-5 in ACC play and just 3-6 on the season. They aren’t going to be going to a bowl game because they still have road games against Pitt and Miami to close out the season. They will be motivated to face a rival like UNC, but I don’t think it’s really going to matter.
The Blue Devils are gassed and beat down mentally after back-to-back 3-point losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. They keep showing up to play every week, but it’s going to take its toll with all of these close losses in a row. I don’t think they can keep it up this week, and they’ve been outgained in seven of their past eight games overall.
UNC has clearly been on a mission here of late, going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in its last three games overall. It started with a 20-13 win at Miami as 6-point dogs as the Tar Heels outgained the Hurricanes by 98 yards. They then outgained Virginia by 235 yards in a 35-14 road win. And they outgained Georgia Tech by 118 yards in a 48-20 home win last week, and because they won so handily they’ll have a lot left in the tank against Duke this week.
I just don’t believe the Blue Devils have the firepower on offense to keep up with the Tar Heels. UNC is averaging 34.2 points, 460 yards per game and 6.8 yards per play this season. Duke has been held to 24.1 points, 399 yards per game and 5.2 yards per play this year. And I would argue that the Tar Heels have been better on defense as they give up just 5.4 yards per play while the Blue Devils allow 5.9 yards per play.
We’ve certainly seen the past two seasons that the Blue Devils haven’t had the firepower to keep up. UNC won 45-20 in 2014 as 5-point road dogs, outgaining the Blue Devils 592 to 378 for the game. Last year the Tar Heels won 66-31 as 7-point home favorites while racking up a whopping 704 total yards on Duke.
Mitch Trubisky legitimately might be the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. It would be hard to argue with the numbers his is putting up this season. Trubisky is completing 70.3 percent of his passes for 2,707 yards with 19 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has added five rushing scores on the ground.
Plays against a home team (DUKE) – after having lost 6 or 7 out of their last 8 games against opponent after having won 3 out of their last 4 games are 34-7 (82.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games. UNC is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after allowing more than 450 yards in its previous game. Bet North Carolina Thursday.
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