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How and what to watch for Syracuse vs. North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the trendy teams this offseason as the Tar Heels get the 2020 season started with a home game against Syracuse.

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman - North Carolina v Temple Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange and North Carolina Tar Heels will kick off the 2020 ACC football schedule in Chapel Hill on Saturday, Sept. 12. Mack Brown and North Carolina have high expectations for this season, while Syracuse is looking for a bounce-back season after finishing below .500 in 2019.

North Carolina received plenty of buzz during the offseason as a bit of a trendy pick to make a leap in Brown’s second season back with the Tar Heels. There is plenty to like, especially with Sam Howell returning after a successful freshman season in 2019. He completed 61.4% of his passes for 3,641 yards and finished with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He figures to be among the best quarterbacks in the ACC this season.

Syracuse should be better on the offensive line because it was a bit of a mess last season with quarterback Tommy DeVito running for his life. He had a fine season in 2019, completing 63.2% of his passes for 2,360 yards, 19 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Syracuse defense finished 11th in the ACC, allowing 30.7 points per game, so head coach Dino Babers has his work cut out for him this year.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Saturday’s game will begin at noon ET at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Syracuse (+22.5) vs. North Carolina
Point Total: O/U 65.5 (-110)
Money line: Syracuse (+900), (-1667)

  • Syracuse finished 5-7 straight up last season.
  • The Orange were 4-8 against the spread in 2019.
  • North Carolina finished 7-6 straight up last season with a win over Temple in the Military Bowl.
  • In 2019, the Tar Heels went 7-5-1 against the spread.

The Best Bet

We may have reached a point where the love has gone too far on North Carolina. While the Tar Heels should be fun to watch and are easy to root for this season, let’s not forget they finished the regular season 6-6 in 2019. Are we confident enough in a North Carolina team to cover such a high spread of more than three touchdowns? With not a whole lot of optimism on Syracuse, it’s very possible this number has gotten too high not to ride the underdog.

Pick: Syracuse +22.5

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