Our college football analyst breaks down Saturday’s game between Illinois and North Carolina. Join us in reading this compelling betting preview article that closes with his pick on the total.
Illini and Tar Heels at High Noon on Saturday
North Carolina hosts Illinois in an intriguing non-conference game on Saturday. The opening kickoff at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill is slated for Noon ET, and the game will air nationally on ESPN2. According to current (9/15) College Football Betting Odds, North Carolina is a 9.0 to 9.5 point favorite and the posted total is 63.5 across the board.
Jury is still out on both Defenses
The defensive units of both teams were expected to be vastly improved this season compared to last. Although, it would be hard to imagine either of them could being much worse. North Carolina allowed 34 points or more in nine of their last eleven games a year ago. Illinois allowed 33 points or more in nine of twelve games against FBS opponents last season.
Let’s not get to carried away with Illinois allowing a combined 3 points in their first two games, although it’s certainly encouraging from their perspective. They faced Western Illinois who plays at the FCS level, and an average at best MAC team in Kent State. They were the beneficiaries of 6 opponent turnovers in those two wins. They’ll also be making a huge jump in class against a potentially dynamic North Carolina offense.
Wes Lunt and Marquise Williams more than capable QBS
Wes Lunt started his college career playing in the pass happy offense at Oklahoma State. Since transferring to Illinois, he’s had his tough moments, but most were due to being part of teams that were outmanned, thus making the offense one dimensional and predictable. Last season Lunt completed 63.2% of his pass attempts for 14 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. This season as the full time starter he’s off to a very good beginning to the year, completing 67.7% of his passes for 5 touchdowns against only 1 pick.
Marquise Williams had a game to forget in the Tar Heels season opening loss to South Carolina. He threw 3 interceptions in that contest, all of those picks occurred in the red zone, and that included two of those in the end zone. However, the senior can beat opponents with both his feet and arm. Case in point was last season when Williams threw for 3073 yards, and ran for another 783 after taking over the full time starting duties.
College Football Totals Angle
Any non-conference road team (Illinois) with a total of 63.5 to 70.0, coming off two consecutive non-conference games, resulted in that road team going 37-12 over the total since 1992. The average total in those contests was 65.9, and there were 73.7 points scored per game.
I like this game to be a high scoring affair for one of my College Football Picks this week.
College Football Pick: Play on Illinois and North Carolina over 63.5 at The Greek.