It’s an in-state rivalry game so there’s always going to be a ‘get up’ factor, but at the same time UNC has already clinched their spot in the ACC Championship game ahead of the NC State at North Carolina betting matchup.
There’s obviously still a lot of motivation for the 9-2 Tar Heels as they work their way towards a New Year’s Six bowl game and aim for their third win in the last four meetings with the Wolfpack. Likewise NC State (7-4) wants to solidify their bowl positioning and prove that the +5.5 underdog point spread is way too much.
NC State Limps Into Rivalry Week
NC State had no chance at representing the Atlantic in the ACC Championship game, as Clemson rolled to an 8-0 conference record while the Wolfpack were just 3-4. The Dave Doeren’s squad is in danger of limping into their bowl game on a three game losing streak after they’ve already dropped a 21-20 loss at home to Boston College (as a -17 point favorite) in week 11 and then falling 25-10 at Louisville (at +4) last Saturday.
The Wolfpack are not just limping into the NC State at North Carolina betting matchup performance wise, they’re down to their 3rd/4th string QB after Devin Leary was lost for the year with a pectoral injury and backup MJ Morris is down with an undisclosed injury.
North Carolina has the #6 passing offense in the nation, so that means if NC State wants to keep up in a shootout they’ll likely have to do it behind Ben Finley who was just 16/35 for 201 yards last week while Jack Chambers was 2/7 for 13 yards.
UNC Needs a Bounce Back Before Championship Game
It’s going to be hard enough for North Carolina to beat Clemson next week in the ACC Championship Game, but especially if the Tar Heels limp in on the backs of two straight losses. UNC falling 21-17 at home last week to Georgia Tech was inexplicable, especially as -22 point favorites.
Coming into the NC State at North Carolina game the Tar Heels have questions like they really haven’t faced this season, mostly is their offense solvable? The 17 points scored – against a Yellow Jackets team that gives up the 4th most points in the ACC – was just the second time UNC had been held under 30 points all season.
North Carolina had a six game win streak snapped last week as QB Drake Maye was just 16/30 for 202 yards with 0 TDs and 1 INT. Maye had thrown multiple TDs in every other game this season and hadn’t thrown for less than 293 yards in his previous seven. Can NC State stifle this offense for a second straight week considering they have a top 25 total yard and scoring defense?
Free NC State at North Carolina Betting Pick
The Wolfpack are just 1-3 on the road this season, and with some serious issues at QB it’s hard to see how even this solid defense can keep NC State in this game. Maye looked human last week for one of the few times this season, but at the same time gets a couple more weapons back with tight end John Copenhaver and receiver Antoine Green both upgraded to questionable.
Free Pick: North Carolina -5.5