College Football Picks: East Carolina vs. North Carolina

Jeff Grant

Friday, September 27, 2013 12:01 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 12:01 PM GMT

North Carolina quarterback Brynn Renner has enjoyed great success against the East Carolina Pirates, as the two teams prepare to face off Saturday afternoon.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this in-state rivalry at Kenan Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 5.

Hitting the road

East Carolina has compiled a 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS mark through three games, as it prepares to hit the road for the first time, but it has failed to cover the number in its last three contests after a bye week.

The Pirates are 7-0 ATS as double-digit underdogs as a rested team when coming off a spread victory, as they suffered a 15-10 setback to the Virginia Tech Hokies as eight-point home underdogs on Sept. 14.

Time to put it together

North Carolina has alternated wins and losses over its first three games, while going UNDER the betting total in each of those affairs.  The offense may be sitting on a huge performance in this matchup, considering the team has averaged 47.6 points per game at home under second-year head coach Larry Fedora.

The Tar Heels are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS versus Conference USA opponents since 2011, with the UNDER cashing in all three of those opportunities.

Drawing a blank

College football handicappers may find the Pirates to be a dangerous road underdog Saturday, with quarterback Shane Carden completing 74.5 percent of his passes and compiling a 153.9 passer rating so far this season.

It’s important to point out that East Carolina has dropped its last seven road games versus ACC opponents.

Renner is ready to fire

Tar Heels signal-caller Brynn Renner has won both of his career starts against the Pirates—throwing for 551 yards and six touchdowns with zero interceptions in that situation.

North Carolina has won 13 of its last 15 games at this venue, including seven of eight under Fedora’s direction.

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers look to the total with their college football picks, as the OVER is 15-7 in the Pirates’ last 22 road games.

East Carolina is a trendy pick in the industry to cover this number, but it will need to score at least 30-plus points to accomplish that task.  

The program has lost 12 consecutive game when scoring 20 or less points, while going 11-1 in its last 12 contests when reaching the 30-point plateau.

College Football Pick:  Over 61

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