Friday night features a battle of ACC Atlantic versus ACC Coastal as the North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-4, 3-4 in ACC) take on the No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels (9-2, 6-1 in the ACC). The Tar Heels will host this one at Kenan Memorial Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 pm ET.
The Wolfpack come into this one having lost back-to-back games against Boston College and Louisville. In last week’s 25-10 loss against Louisville, Ben Finley threw for 201 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Unfortunately for NC State, they could muster just 83 yards rushing and couldn’t keep up with the Cardinals.
The Tar Heels are also coming off of a loss as they were defeated at home 21-17 by Georgia Tech. Drake Maye threw for just 202 yards and an interception. On the ground, Elijah Green had a solid performance, gaining 92 yards and two touchdowns on ten carries.
North Carolina comes in as the favorite in this one playing at home. They are -235 to win, while North Carolina State’s moneyline sits at +195. The spread features the Wolfpack +6.5 (-115), and the over/under for total points is 55.5 (-110).
NC State Looks To Pull Off Road Upset
At just 3-4 in the conference, the Wolfpack currently sit at fourth in the ACC Atlantic. While their hopes of winning the conference may be long gone, they will look to improve on their road record of 1-3. They would especially love to pull off the upset against their intrastate rivals.
Leading NC State’s offense in this one will be quarterback Ben Finley. Having entered the season as their fourth quarterback, Finley is now the starter after a myriad of injuries and inconsistent play.
Finley had his first work last week and threw for 201 yards and the single score. NC State is hoping he can use that as a springboard coming into this week against UNC.
On the ground, Jordan Houston leads all rushers with 500 yards on 119 attempts.
This inconsistent play, both through the air and on the ground, has led the Wolfpack to be ranked just 97th in the nation in scoring, averaging just 21.9 points per game (15 on the road).
Luckily, NC State’s defense has played a bit better as they rank 19th in the nation for scoring defense, allowing an average of 20.3 points per game to opponents (24.8 on the road).
Tar Heels Look To Bounce Back After Rough Loss
Their loss against Georgia was a huge blow for the Tar Heels, but having already become bowl eligible and leading the ACC Coastal with relative ease, UNC will look to bounce back as they take on the Wolfpack Friday.
The Tar Heels are led under center by freshman quarterback Drake Maye. This season, he has thrown for 3,614 yards, 34 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. Maye also leads the team in rushing with 597 yards and five scores.
Maye’s favorite receivers have been J Downs (77 receptions, 878 yards, 11 touchdowns) and A Green (30 receptions, 678 yards, six touchdowns). This group has helped the Tar Heels rank 15th in the nation in scoring, averaging 36.2 points per game.
Unfortunately, on defense, the teams rank just 103rd in the nation, allowing 31 points per game.
Take UNC To Win And Cover
Looking at the trends, NC State is 14-6 in its last 20 games, and they are 5-2 in their last seven at North Carolina, but against the spread, they are 0-5 in their last five against the Tar Heels.
For North Carolina, they are 16-4 in their last 20 home games and 6-1 in their last seven.
A lot of times, records can be thrown out when these two match up. While the Wolfpack’s defense should be able to slow down the Tar Heels a little, it is still hard to envision their offense doing enough to keep up over the course of a whole game.
For that reason, take UNC to both win and to cover the -6.5 point spread (-105).