The North Carolina Tar Heels started slow after an offseason filled with hype, but they defeated the Syracuse Orange fairly easy and head into the Saturday, Sept. 19 matchup with the Charlotte 49ers as the No. 12 team in the country.
North Carolina’s swarming defense kept the Orange out of the end zone and finished with seven sacks, but it was the offense that took a while to get going. The final score looks a bit misleading because the Tar Heels were leading just 7-6 midway through the third quarter before scoring 24 unanswered points. Sam Howell threw for 295 yards and a touchdown but also tossed a pair of interceptions. A slow start against Syracuse didn’t hurt North Carolina and frankly, it probably won’t have much of an impact against Charlotte.
The 49ers kept it close against an Appalachian State team that is now ranked inside the top 25. Charlotte trailed by one score until the 1:15 mark in the fourth quarter when the Mountaineers pulled away with a 15-point victory. Charlotte found ways to sustain long drives that ended up in points, so it didn’t appear its competitive game with Appalachian State, which is projected to win the Sun Belt, was any sort of a fluke, though the 49ers were aided by a kickoff return touchdown.
This is the first ever matchup between North Carolina and Charlotte.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
Saturday’s game will start at 3:30 p.m. ET at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The game will be aired on the ESPN3.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Charlotte (+30) vs. North Carolina
Point Total: O/U 60 (-110)
Money line: Charlotte (+1800), Georgia Tech (-10000)
- Charlotte is 2-17 straight up in its last 19 road games.
- Charlotte is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games.
- North Carolina is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games.
- North Carolina is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight games against a Conference USA opponent.
The Best Bet
North Carolina’s offense didn’t have its best performance and still beat a Power 5 team by 25 points. However, let’s go with Charlotte in this matchup. The 49ers showed last weekend they can at least hang around a very solid program currently ranked among the top 25. Will Healy has a chance to continue his trajectory to be among the best young coaches in the sport. He is only 35 years old and led Charlotte to its first ever bowl game in 2019 in his first season. The 49ers will come nowhere close to winning, but 30 points is too many.
Pick: Charlotte +30
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