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No. 9 Wake Forest vs. North Carolina picks and best bets for Week 10

The No. 9 Demon Deacs will look to remain undefeated by going on the road and taking down UNC.

NCAA Football: Duke at Wake Forest James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

We have an ACC ... wait, not an ACC matchup in Chapel Hill, NC, on Saturday as the No. 9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons pay a visit to the in-state rival North Carolina Tar Heels. The game will kick off at noon ET on ABC.

Back in 2015, the two teams agreed to a two-game non-conference series simply to get each other on the schedule. Both programs are in different divisions within the conference and the current ACC scheduling arrangement limits the number of times they can play each other, so they found a workaround.

Wake Forest (8-0, 5-0 ACC) has somehow the only team who has been unaffected by a completely chaotic ACC this year. Their 8-0 mark earned them the No. 9 spot in the first batch of College Football Playoff rankings this week, their first ever ranking in the Top 10. The Demon Deacons have put up 35 or more points in every game this season and the “Clawfense” once again got to work last week in a 45-7 blowout of Duke, a game where they averaged 8.2 yards per play. Rising Heisman Trophy contender Sam Hartman threw for 402 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

North Carolina (4-4, 3-3 ACC) has been one of the bigger disappointments in the conference this season and they weren’t able to pick up a win last week in 44-33 loss at Notre Dame last Saturday. Sam Howell threw for 341 yards with just one touchdown and one interception on the evening. The Tar Heels actually outgained the Irish offensively and matched them in yards per play with 7.7.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Wake Forest: 28th overall, 10th offense, 61st defense
North Carolina: 22nd overall, 4th offense, 72nd defense

Injury update

Wake Forest

DB Evan Slocum Questionable - Undisclosed

DB Chelen Garnes Questionable - Leg

DB Tyriq Hardimon Questionable - Undisclosed

North Carolina

DL Kristian Varner Out for season - Left Team

RB Caleb Hood Questionable - Upper Body

WR J.J. Jones Questionable - Upper Body

WR Tylee Craft Questionable - Lower Body

DB Storm Duck Questionable - Lower Body

RB British Brooks Questionable - Undisclosed

RB Josh Henderson - Expected to transfer

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

Wake Forest: 4-4 ATS
North Carolina: 3-5 ATS

Total

Wake Forest: Over 3-5
North Carolina: Over 5-3

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

Wake Forest: 64th overall, 64th offense, 60th defense
North Carolina: 15th overall, 33rd offense, 23rd defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: North Carolina -2.5
Total: 76.5
Moneyline: North Carolina -135, Wake Forest +115

Opening line: North Carolina -4.5
Opening total: 77

Weather

51 degrees, Winds 10 MPH NNE, Cloudy

The Pick

Wake Forest +2.5

The popular play for many this week will be on the total considering that both offenses can put up 40+ in the blink of an eye. I’ll still lean with Wake Forest covering here and coming away with the outright win here. They’re cruising along and with a No. 9 ranking and an ACC Championship game berth in their crosshairs, they’re going to be up to take down their in-state rivals.

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