Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#365 Appalachian State 58 vs.
#366 North Carolina (UNC) -2.5
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill
Written by Scott Reichel

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#365 Appalachian State University
#366 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2-0
2-1
1-1
2-1
1-1
1-2
48
23
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22

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Week four of college football continues as the Appalachian State Mountaineers travel to Kenan Stadium to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday, Sep. 21 at 3:30 P.M. This will be the second-ever meeting between these two teams with the only prior meeting occurring back in 1940.

Appalachian State Looks To Remain Undefeated

The Appalachian State Mountaineers are still undefeated through their first two games of the regular season. However, this is nothing new for the program as it won 11 games last season. Appalachian State has been the class of the Sun Belt conference for several years now and this game will be a good test for it before conference play officially starts next week. The Mountaineers also are the beneficiaries of an extra week of preparation since they had a bye week leading up to this game. Even though Appalachian State is an underdog this game, the week off leading up to the game could definitely help improve its chances of pulling this upset.

The starting quarterback for the Mountaineers is junior Zac Thomas who looked so far this season. In just two games, Thomas has already thrown for five touchdowns and has no interceptions. In addition, he has also rushed for a touchdown so he has the ability to prolong plays with his feet and is even able to pick up some first downs on the ground. However, he only has 332 total passing yards so he will need to do a better job at manufacturing big plays in the passing game.

Appalachian State’s biggest X-factor on offense is junior running back Darrynton Evans who played extremely well in the team’s last game. In week two, he had a whopping 234 rushing yards and also had three rushing touchdowns. In addition, he even managed to break the game open with an onside kick return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Evans was unstoppable against Charlotte and Appalachian State will most likely feed him in this game whenever possible.

North Carolina Looks To Exceed Last Year’s Win Total

The North Carolina Tar Heels entered the 2019 season with hopes of drastic improvement from last year. Last season, North Carolina went just 2-9 overall with a 1-7 record in ACC play. As a result, people assumed that this season would also be a lost cause. However, North Carolina has played really well through the first three games of the season and has already matched its win total from last season. However, North Carolina’s players now have bowl game aspirations as they are on pace to potentially reach the six-game threshold that would get them an opportunity to play in the postseason. As a result, a win here would be huge for that dream to turn into a reality while a loss would be quite devastating.

The starting quarterback for the Tar Heels is freshman Sam Howell who looked great in the first three games of the regular season. Specifically, he has thrown for 701 passing yards along with six passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. However, he only has a QBR of 51.7 which ranks 81st in the nation. In his defense, he is still just a freshman and is still adjusting to the speed of college football which means that he can be a great player for this program over the next few years once everything starts to slow down.

North Carolina’s biggest weapon on offense is sophomore wide receiver Dyami Brown who has been Howell’s favorite target this season. Specifically, Brown already has 233 receiving yards along with three touchdown receptions. Those touchdowns have been divided evenly throughout the first three games so Brown will be looking to extend his consecutive games with a touchdown streak to four on Saturday.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though North Carolina is at home, I think that Appalachian State is a live dog to win this game. Appalachian State has been the class of the Sun Belt for years and knows how to win games while North Carolina is still adjusting to success after just a two-win campaign last year. Plus, Appalachian State had an extra week to prepare for this game so it should have some additional success on Saturday. Give me the underdog plus the points in this game.

Prediction: Appalachian State +3

Full-Game Total Pick

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Simply put, I think both offenses are underrated and should each put up at least 28 points in this game so I will take the over. Appalachian State has scored at least 42 points in both games this season and should use its extra rest to get off to a fast start against North Carolina’s inconsistent defense. Meanwhile, Appalachian State just gave up 41 points to a below-average offense possessed by Charlotte so I can see North Carolina scoring at least 30 points in this game. This game should end somewhere in the realm of 35-33 so I will take the over.

Prediction: Over 58
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.