Week 13 Line Movers: Wolfpack Howling Versus North Carolina

Jason Lake

Friday, November 23, 2018 12:23 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 12:23 PM UTC

If the North Carolina Tar Heels had any value for your college football picks, it all moved to the North Carolina State Wolfpack for Saturday’s game in Chapel Hill.

Jason’s 2018-19 NCAAF picks record through Week 12: 14-15 ATS; 0-1 ML (minus-1.00 units), 1-2 Totals

NC State (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) at North Carolina (2-8 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)Saturday, 12:20 p.m. ET (ACCNE)Free NCAAF Pick: Wolfpack ATSBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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We don’t always cash in these premium line movers for your college football picks – it just seems that way. It happened again last week; we recommended the Northwestern Wildcats at +1.5 after they’d opened as 3-point road faves against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and they ended up winning 24-14 at the full +3. It is what it is.

This week’s very special pick takes us to Chapel Hill, where the North Carolina Tar Heels will renew their tobacco-stained rivalry this Saturday with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. NC State opened as 11-point favorites, but at press time, they’re available at –7 on the college football odds board, even though our consensus reports show 66-percent support for the Pack. Curious.

Head Over Heels

The advanced stats are telling us to jump all over NC State. Here’s the skinny:

ESPN Football Power Index Projection: NCSU 77.3 percent

Equivalent Moneyline (using SBR Odds Converter): NCSU –340

Equivalent Point Spread (via Wizard of Odds): NCSU –10.5

So here we are again with the NCAAF lines moving off the projections by several points. There was at least some rationale in snapping up the Tar Heels as 11-point home dogs. And the Wolfpack are scuffling of late, going 2-3 SU and ATS over their last five games, including upset losses to Syracuse (+2 at home) and Wake Forest (+19.5 away). But that all changes now that NC State have landed on the magic number 7.

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Now, let's compare Larry Fedora, who's been at #UNC since 2012, and Dave Doeren, who's been at #NCSU since 2013:

Fedora (87 games, 45-42 record, 1-3 in bowl games)
Doeren (74 games, 41-33 record, 3-1 in bowl games)

— Jacob Turner (@JacobTurnerTHI) November 22, 2018

Hats Off

Looking at the season as a whole, the Tar Heels aren’t anywhere near the same force as their Carolinian rivals. UNC check in at No. 86 on the F/+ Combined Ratings at Football Outsiders; that’s several layers beneath the Wolfpack at No. 37 overall. The Heels may have thumped Western Carolina 49-26 last week to snap their six-game losing streak, but they couldn’t cover the 30.5-point spread against the visiting Catamounts, who represent the Southern Conference in the FCS.

We’re not going to recommend a large bet in this situation, though. It’s the final game of the season for North Carolina, who will not come close to sniffing a bowl invitation this year. The Tar Heels usually do well at Kenan Stadium; last year, ESPN’s Brad Edwards and Seth Walder clocked them at 0.23 Points Above Expectation playing at home. And the UNC players might give Saturday’s game a little extra effort in support of head coach Larry Fedora, whose job may or may not be in jeopardy at the moment. It’s still a good spot for NC State, though, so let’s run with the Pack, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

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