Saturday afternoon on the college gridiron and a pair of teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference will square off as the North Carolina Tar Heels duke it out with the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. The Blue Devils won this game on the road last year by a score of 27-17.
North Carolina enters this game off a 38-28 home loss to Georgia Tech to fall to 1-5 in league play, while Duke is off a stunning 20-12 road win over Miami and they are now at 2-3 in league play.
Long Season Continues For The Cornhuskers
The North Carolina Tar Heels season was over during the summer when several players were dealt suspensions for the early part of their schedule. They have never been able to recover from that and are now at 1-7 overall, including 1-5 in league play. Their lone win came in their third game (Pittsburgh), and they have since lost their last five games in a row. The Heels have been playing a bit better of late as their recent four losses have all been by 10 points or less. Can they keep this one close against Duke? We shall see. The Heels are off a 38-28 loss to Georgia Tech at home, and they allowed a whopping 461 yards on the ground in that game. The heels are now 116th against the run, allowing 225 ypg on the ground. They hope to clean that up here against a mediocre Duke ground attack.
— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) November 6, 2018
The Heels are 97th in the nation in total yards allowed and 107th in points allowed, giving up 34.8. The offense has been average overall, regarding yards gained, but they have trouble scoring as they have put up just 23.6 ppg, which is 107th in the nation. The Heels are 63rd in rushing, and that could change here as the Blue Devils are 102nd against the run. Antonio Williams (478 yards) has rushed for just 54 yards over his past two games but could have a good showing in this one. Nathan Elliott has been average as he has thrown for 1640 yards with eight TDs and seven INTs. He will look to have a big game, especially if Williams gets going.
Duke Surprises Miami On The Road
The Duke Blue Devils have had a decent season so far as they are 6-3 and have gained bowl eligibility. Their 6th win came last week as they shocked the Miami Hurricanes on the road by a score of 20-12. The Duke defense has been their strength this year, and while they won the game, they did allow 411 yards, including 300 on the ground. That run defense is 102nd in the nation, giving up 200.6 ypg on the ground so far. The Heels have been average running the ball, but Duke will need their run defense to step up in this one. Duke did allow the Canes to convert on 3/14 third down attempts and they won the turnover battle 2-1, which is something you don’t do against Miami.
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— Duke Football (@DukeFOOTBALL) November 4, 2018
Duke enters this game ranked 61st in total yards allowed, 28th against the pass and 33rd in points allowed, giving up 22.2 ppg. The Offense has been average for the Blue Devils this year as they are 72nd in total offense and 61st in scoring putting up 30.1 ppg. Duke had just 290 yards of total offense against Miami, but they should have a better showing against a bad Carolina defense in this one. Daniel Jones has had a decent year as he has thrown for 1587 yards with 13 TDs and five INTs, but will be facing the 40th ranked pass defense in the nation. Deon Jackson (647 yards) has run for 275 yards in his last two games and will look to have a big game against a weak run defense in this one.
- 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 home games
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
North Carolina is:
- 6-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- The Underdog is 5-1 ATS the last six games in this series
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Duke is off a huge road win over Miami and has gained bowl eligibility because of that win. That sets them up for a letdown. The Tar Heels have had a miserable year, but none of their last four losses have been by more than 10 points. I like the Tar Heels to keep this one close against a Duke team that doesn’t have blowout capability. The clincher is the fact that the dog is 5-1 ATS the last six games in this series.
Prediction: North Carolina +10.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the Under in this game. The Blue Devis do not have an explosive offense and they have played defense very well. Duke has allowed 21.5 ppg at home and the Heels have averaged 30.8 ppg on the road. The Heels have struggled on defense on the road, but Duke has averaged a mediocre 29.3 ppg at home. The Under is 16-5 in Blue Devils last 21 conference games and 17-7 in their last 24 home games. That seals the deal for me.
Prediction: Under 58