Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#111 Charlotte vs.
#112 North Carolina (UNC)
Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 4:30pm EDT
Written by Blake V.

No. 12 North Carolina will be looking to take care of business against Charlotte on Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels are coming off a win against Syracuse, while the 49ers dropped their season-opener to Appalachian State.

(this game has been canceled due to several positives on the Charlotte offensive line)

Charlotte loses star quarterback

Charlotte not only lost its season opener against Appalachian State—it lost its starting quarterback as well. Chris Reynolds suffered an upper body injury in the 35-20 season-opening loss last Saturday. He was injured on the first play of the game after taking a hit from Appalachian State’s Nick Hampton. Reynolds did end up playing the entire game, completing just 11 of 30 passes for 140 yards and two interceptions. His absence means transfer Dom Shoffner will be the starter on Saturday. Shoffner started his career at North Carolina Central, playing in six games for the Eagles in 2018. He transferred the Monroe College after a coaching change at N.C. Central and threw for 2,488 yards on the junior college level last season.

The 49ers jumped out to a 7-0 lead against Appalachian State, but the Mountaineers responded with 14 points in the second quarter to take a 14-10 halftime lead. Appalachian State closed the game with a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Running back Tre Harbison led Charlotte’s rushing attack with 87 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Taylor Thompson was the top pass-catcher, reeling in two catches for 62 yards. Aaron Mcallister returned a kick 97 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers really struggled defensively, allowing 512 yards. Senior defensive back Ben DeLuca led the team with 16 tackles. Junior linebacker Tyler Murray added 14 tackles and an interception.

Tar Heels pull away late against Syracuse

North Carolina did not pull away from Syracuse until the second half, but the game was never really in question. The Orange were unable to do much of anything against the Tar Heels defense, compiling just six points on 202 yards. Senior linebacker Chazz Surratt led North Carolina with nine tackles and two sacks. Jeremiah Gemmel added five tackles and a sack, while Tomari Fox recorded two sacks of his own. The Tar Heels ended up covering the 23-point spread with a 31-6 win.

Quarterback Sam Howell will be looking for a better showing in this game. He completed 25 of 34 passes for 295 yards and one touchdown, but he threw two interceptions. The Tar Heels scored 21 of their 31 points in the fourth quarter, so he will be hoping to get off to a better start on Saturday. His longest completion of the day came on a 38-yard pass to Dyami Brown, who finished the day with six catches for 94 yards. Running back Michael Carter had an excellent game, carrying the ball seven times for 78 yards. He also caught six passes for 60 yards. Javonte Williams bullied his way into the end zone three times. He ended up with 14 attempts for 57 yards. North Carolina had three defensive backs opt out of the season before it began.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This line has already moved three points since it opened and I expect for it to keep moving. North Carolina is the play in this game, especially after Charlotte lost its best player last week. Reynolds was an All-Conference quarterback in 2019 and it should be a sizeable drop-off at that position for the 49ers. North Carolina struggled offensively for most of the game against Syracuse, yet the Tar Heels still found a way to cover the large spread. This Charlotte offense should not give them much trouble and I expect Howell to come out and play much better.

Prediction: North Carolina -29

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

The under does not generally correlate with a large spread if you like the favorite to cover, but I think this might be a case where it does. Oddssmakers set the spread at -26.5, but the total is 60. I do not expect Charlotte to score 15 points, which is what the line is suggesting they will do (45-15. The inexperienced quarterback will be making his first start with the 49ers and the offense had an awful day last week. North Carolinaโ€™s defense should hold them to single digits in the scoring column. That gives us some buffer room with the Tar Heels offense to cover the spread and still go under the total.

Prediction: Under 60
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, itโ€™s a marathon, not a sprint.