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FBS Football – Notre Dame at UNC Point Spread and O/U Pick

Notre Dame (4-1) @ North Carolina (1-4)

  • Where: Kenan Stadium. Raleigh, NC
  • When: October 7, 2017 3:30 pm EST
  • Spread: UND (-14.5) at UNC (+14.5)
  • Moneyline: UND (-700) at UNC (+450)
  • Over / Under: Over 59 (-105) vs Under 59 (-115)

In the NFL, 2 teams headed in opposite directions can create a volatile betting circumstance. The vastly differing scoreboard results do not guarantee a physical mismatch on the pro level. A team can get motivated, spring a few new wrinkles as an underdog and make sudden waves – such as the New Orleans Saints in Week 4.

On the NCAA level, a wager on a swift-rising favorite can provide more safety, especially against a hapless opponent. But it still must be researched well. Just because the ‘dog might not be able to compete on the line of scrimmage for 4 quarters doesn’t mean the touted team will cover the point spread.

Notre Dame’s trip to North Carolina may seem like a trap game for the Irish. UNC does hail from one of the best conferences in football, and has had to deal with a difficult schedule while going 1-4. Despite impressing critics, ND does not have a signature win on the season, missing their one chance against Georgia in Week 2.

Regardless, the Irish are installed as a heavy favorite on the road.

Keeping ’em on their ‘Heels

The Tar Heels’ Achilles Heel might be run defense. No, we’re not just thinking of the Week 4 debacle against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets run wild on the ground against anyone they beat, but 3 teams UNC has lost to – Louisville, California and Duke – employ shotgun-spread running games similar to Notre Dame under Brian Kelly.

North Carolina allowed 7.1 yards per carry to Louisville. Against Duke, they gave up 9 ypc to unheralded RB Brittain Brown. The one anomaly in the UNC rush defense was the performance against Cal. But the Bears passed for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns while winning 35-30.

Can the Irish take advantage of the hosts’ softness on defense? UND has simply rolled over all but one of its quintet of opponents – the one road-block being Georgia, which completely shut down the Brandon Wimbush-led Irish running game. The Bulldogs wanted Wimbush to have to beat them through the air and the young QB could not, finishing only 19 of 38 with 0 touchdown passes.

The Notre Dame offense soared, however, against ACC opponent Boston College in a 29-point rout.

Run, run, run…and pass

The O/U line opened at 62 and headed straight downward – which indicates what bettors are thinking. Most seem to think that the Irish will play it safe and keep the ball on the ground, taking advantage of UNC’s porous front-7.

But that same frazzled front will be overwhelmed trying to defend Coach Kelly’s read-option playbook. When that happens, the Tar Heels will not be able to rush the passer…and that could abide fireworks through the air.

Notre Dame is full of talented receivers, and Wimbush can get them the bean.

The hilariously-named Equanimeous St. Brown has a 14.4 yards-per-catch average on the season, and has caught a pair of TD passes. Among the less fairy-tale names are talented Alize Mack and Chase Claypool, who have combined for 20 catches.

The Irish are not a perfect team. But we’re thinking that the UNC defense might be just the right medicine that the UND offense needs to blow the cork off the bottle in the passing game.

MSB’s Best Bet Recommendation – UND at UNC

Wager on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to cover (14.5) points against North Carolina and get a 50% sign-up bonus from Bovada.

Take the Irish to cover. The line has actually shrunk from (16.5) to (14.5), a great blessing for wise bettors who can see the end of Larry Fedora’s reign in North Carolina coming to dismal end.

The over is also a strong play, worth at least 2 units.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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