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NCAAF Week 13: Notre Dame vs. North Carolina odds, preview & pick

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November 23rd, 2020

Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is the site for a Friday-afternoon showdown between the No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the No. 25 North Carolina Tar Heels.

Notre Dame is a modest favorite, despite its high national ranking and the fact that it enters off a bye week.

Will North Carolina spring the upset? Here’s our betting preview.

#2 Notre Dame vs. #25 North Carolina

Fri, November 27 2020, 8:30 PM

North Carolina Tar Heels

Spread

+4

Total

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Spread

-4

Total

Points aplenty

One week after a 47-40 overtime win against Clemson, the Fighting Irish put up 45 points in a victory over Boston College. It was the fifth time they eclipsed the 40-point mark in 2020.

The Tar Heels offense has been even more potent, with 115 points over its last two games. North Carolina is 10th in the nation in points per game (43.1).

Ian Book vs. Sam Howell

Both Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book and North Carolina counterpart Sam Howell have been solid this season, but the matchup edge has to go to the latter.

Book — a fifth-year senior — has completed 62% of his passes in 2020, for 8.4 yards per attempt, with an 11-1 touchdown-interception ratio.

However, Howell’s numbers jump off the page. The sophomore has completed 67.7% of his throws, for 10.6 yards per attempt, with a 23-6 touchdown-interception ratio.

Book could have a harder time than usual in the pocket Friday, as starting offensive linemen Jarrett Patterson (foot) and Tommy Kraemer (appendicitis) are expected to miss the game. The Tar Heels are 18th in the country in sacks per game (3.4). 

Tailbacks should tear up the turf

Sophomore running back Kyren Williams leads a tenacious rushing attack for the Fighting Irish. He has carried the ball 137 times for 777 yards and 10 touchdowns. He should tear through a Tar Heels defense that allows 151.9 rushing yards per game (59th in the nation).

North Carolina has a two-headed monster in its backfield, with junior Javonte Williams and senior Michael Carter. The former boasts 868 yards on 120 carries, with an eye-popping 15 touchdowns, while the latter has gone for 807 yards on 116 carries, with four touchdowns. Even Notre Dame’s seventh-ranked run stoppers (85.1 yards allowed per game) might have a hard time bottling up this ground game.

Trends say take North Carolina and the Over

The Tar Heels are 25-7 against the spread in their last 32 home games against teams with winning road records. Notre Dame has lost five of its last six games as a road favorite of four points or fewer.

The Over has cashed in five of Notre Dame’s last seven games and is 5-1 in its last six games following a bye week. Over bettors have cashed in four straight North Carolina contests and are 8-2 in the last 10 Tar Heels games following a bye.

Score prediction: North Carolina 42, Notre Dame 38 

NCAAF Pick: North Carolina +4.5, Over 66


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