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!
Wake Forest: 28th overall, 10th offense, 61st defense
North Carolina: 22nd overall, 4th offense, 72nd defense
DB Evan Slocum Questionable - Undisclosed
DB Chelen Garnes Questionable - Leg
DB Tyriq Hardimon Questionable - Undisclosed
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
Against The Spread
Wake Forest: 4-4 ATS
North Carolina: 3-5 ATS
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
Moneyline: North Carolina -135, Wake Forest +115
Opening line: North Carolina -4.5
Opening total: 77
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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