Add Tar Heels -2.5 over Pittsburgh to Your College Football Picks

Ross Benjamin

Monday, October 26, 2015 5:09 PM GMT

We’ll take a look at Thursday’s big ACC game between North Carolina and Pittsburgh. Go inside to read our preview article, review our betting odds, and get a free point spread pick.

Thursday ESPN College Football
The #23 ranked Pittsburgh Panthers (6-1) host North Carolina (6-1) on Thursday night in a key ACC showdown. The opening kickoff at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is slated for 7:00 PM ET, and the game will be aired by nationally on ESPN. According to early college football betting odds at Bookmaker.com, North Carolina is a 2.5 point road favorite. North Carolina has won in each of the past two seasons against Pittsburgh. The Tar Heels were victorious 40-35 at home last year, and 34-27 at Pittsburgh in 2013.

 

Game with huge ACC Implications
Both teams enter this week red-hot. North Carolina has won six in a row since an opening game loss to South Carolina. Pittsburgh has won its last four since suffering a 27-24 road loss at #10 Iowa. Pittsburgh (4-0 ACC) currently leads the ACC Coastal Division by one half game over North Carolina (3-0 ACC) and Duke (3-0 ACC).

Pittsburgh will surely be tested in their last five games. Besides facing North Carolina on Thursday, they’ll host #9 Notre Dame, and go on the road to face #22 Duke in the following two weeks. They’ll close their 2015 regular season campaign out against Louisville and Miami. There’s little doubt the Panthers will have a clearer outlook on their chances of reaching the ACC Championship Game heading into those final two contests.

On the other hand, North Carolina’s conference title hopes will become crystal clear after completing their next two games. North Carolina will host Duke following Thursday’s contest at Pitt. Despite their stellar 6-1 record, North Carolina still finds itself outside of the AP top 25. They’ll certainly have their opportunities to join the party during the next two games against ranked opponents.

 

Final Analysis
There’s no question that North Carolina is an explosive and dynamic offensive team. However, their biggest improvement from a season ago, hands down, has transpired on defense. The Tar Heels have allowed 14 points or less in five of their previous six games. I feel North Carolina is more balanced on both sides of the ball compared to Pittsburgh. I’ll have an early lean on the road favorite as one of my college football picks.

Free College Football Pick: North Carolina -2.5 (-115) at Bookmaker

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2823445, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,19,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]