NCAAF Pick - North Carolina Tar Heels Will Hang Tough When Visiting Florida St.

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:53 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 9:53 PM UTC

Defense will be needed in Tallahassee Saturday afternoon, as the North Carolina Tar Heels square off against double digit odds favorite Florida State in an all-important ACC clash. Get your free pick with betting preview here. 

North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
The Tar Heels pulled off a shock 37-35 win as 10-point underdogs the last time these two clashed in 2010. It was only the second victory for UNC in the last 18 meetings.  Can it pull off another upset? Doubtful as an 11.5-point pup, but expect head coach Larry Fedora’s team to make it interesting.

Fedora is one of the pass-happiest coaches out there, sending it through the air on 60.2 percent of plays (seventh nationally). Quarterback Mitch Trubisky has slotted in nicely for the departed Marquise Williams, setting school interception-free (144 passing attempts) and straight-completion (17) records in the first three games of the season. Overall, UNC’s 0.56 points per play ranks 16th most efficient in the country.

The Tar Heels defense is not so effective. It’s yielding 30.7 points per game and can’t stop the run. It’s gifting 5.3 yards per carry. The unit can hunker down in the secondary, though, holding opponents to 6.2 yards per pass (21st).

The Tar Heels are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 road games against the ACC, kicking off as 3.1-point pups on average.

The OVER is 8-1-1 in UNC’s last 10 games.


Florida State Seminoles (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Florida State has some core issues on defense. Dating back to last year’s 38-24 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl loss to Houston, it’s allowed 42.5 points per game to FBS opponents.  All in all, that’s 14 points more than projected per tilt. It’s 0.68 points per play allowed is second to only Texas Tech (0.711) as most inefficient of all Power-Five programs.

Expect head coach Jimbo Fisher to run a lot against UNC. Tailback Dalvin Cook is one of the premier backs in the country averaging 6.3 yard per carry. The offense's 270 total rushing yards per game ranks 10th in the nation.

The Seminoles are 8-2 SU and 2-8 ATS when laying 17 points or less at home to conference opponents under Fisher.


Final Analysis
UNC is just 3-13 SU and 5-11 ATS as a dog under head coach Larry Fedora, but has covered all three games against rushing defenses allowing 150 yards or more per game. Florida State allows 223.7 yards per contest. Although a pass-first team, the ability to pick up yardage on the ground makes the UNC offense more unpredictable and allows it to manage the clock and keep the porous defense off the field. Fedora’s crew isn’t gonna pull off the upset, but can hang around all game. UNC +11.5 is the play.

Remember to drop by SBR's list of the best-ranked bonuses, and find out which of the top sportsbooks is offering the top rated sportsbooks.

SBR record YTD: 123-88-6 (avg. odds -104); 2016-17 NCAAF: 12-16 (avg. odds -109)

Free College Football Pick: North Carolina +11.5
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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