As college football shifts into its league schedule, the UNC Tar Heels take the short trip to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest in ACC play.
Both teams have had last-minute victories in the opening weeks, something that has given them momentum heading into league play. The Tar Heels just last week had a dramatic win over Miami. With 1:01 left, Sam Howell connected with Dazz Newsome for the winning touchdown.
A week earlier, Wake Forest knocked off Utah State thanks to a Jamie Newman touchdown pass to Kendall Hinton with 1:08 remaining. The Demon Deacons engaged in a thrilling back-and-forth affair until finally pulling ahead, and that surge propelled Wake Forest to a 41-21 win at Rice last week.
Wake Forest vs North Carolina
Friday, September 13, 6 p.m. EST
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by Bookmaker
Spread: Wake Forest (-3 at +100)
Through two games this season, the Demon Deacons rank 12th in the nation in total offense. Wake Forest averages 546 yards of total offense per game, close to seven yards per play, and has scored 10 offensive touchdowns this year.
A lot of Wake Forest’s damage has come on third down. The Deacons are 25th in the nation in third-down conversion percentage at 0.526. The Wake Forest offense has already faced 38 third downs this season, most in FBS, and has converted 20 of them, second-most in FBS.
Even more impressive, Wake Forest doesn’t beat itself with penalties. Ranking sixth in FBS with only six penalties for 53 yards, the Deacons play a clean brand of high-tempo offense-oriented football.
Fortunately for the Tar Heels, their third-down defense has been a major strength this season. Opponents are only converting at 26 percent — 23rd best in FBS.
Otherwise, UNC is in the middle of the pack among FBS team statistics. They rank 58th in offense with 436 yards per game and have allowed 379 yards per game, 76th in FBS.
Quarterback Sam Howell has enjoyed a strong season and is responsible for 26 points this season on offense. Running back Javonte Williams is averaging 96 yards per game and gets the majority of the touches for the Tar Heels.
On defense, three Tar Heels average more than eight tackles per game this season, led by linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel with 9.5. Myles Dorn and Chazz Surratt are averaging 8.5 each through the first two games.
Both teams put up a lot of points and a lot of offense. Over their first two games, both teams have trended over three out of four games this season.
UNC has kept games relatively close, winning by a combined seven points this season. Wake Forest has also won a close game so this one should be no different. Either way, there will be a lot of yards and a lot of points. The teams are relatively evenly matched on offense and are far from shut-down defensively.
Pick: The total points could push at exactly 66, but to be safe take the under, not by much though. As for the spread, Wake Forest should cover but it will be a one-possession game.