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UNC vs. Syracuse: Betting Lines, Odds, and Picks

We’re back in action after the bye week.

North Carolina v Pittsburgh Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Just in case you forgot, we had a good night up in Pittsburgh.

The North Carolina Tar Heels did not start on time, but Alijah Huzzie’s punt return in the second quarter touchdown changed the game. And our bets.

If a $100 bettor tailed my picks against Pitt, they would be $300 richer after the game. The picks went 3-1 against the Panthers, and the hot streak continues in 2023.

Below are the season totals:

  • Plus/Minus on $100 bets: $975.68
  • Record: 13-4-1

In the game versus Pitt, I was counting on the physicality of the Panthers to impact the Carolina offense. This, combined with a lowly Pitt passing game, would put us squarely under the total.

UNC was just 10 points from hitting the over on the total themselves.

Let’s not discount the Carolina offense this week. A bye week improves the health of the team, and this is something that the offensive line needs.

The question mark is the Syracuse offense. Through their first four games, the Orange averaged 44 points per game.

However, the opponents were Colgate, Western Michigan, Army, and a Purdue squad that is now 2-3.

The Orange offense was humbled by Clemson last week, managing just 14 points.

That performance throws up question marks about the offense. But at the end of the day, a team just does not come up with those offensive performances. The potential is there.

With the over/under at 59.5, let’s hammer the over this Saturday.

I am struggling with the spread for two reasons: Mack after a bye week and defensive lulls.

As THB writer Jack Morris broke down earlier this week, head coach Mack Brown in the 2.0 era is winless after a bye week.

Morris also looked at the defensive letdowns in those games after the bye week, with Carolina allowing 41 points and 258 rushing yards per game.

This defense has quality depth up front, and as seen in the Syracuse loss to Clemson, the defensive line will be the difference-maker.

The spread opened at UNC -9 and has moved slightly to -8.5 with the public favoring Syracuse to cover. The odds have settled at -110, when it was previously at -108.

I’ve spouted on this site the great things about bye weeks and my belief that the Tar Heels can fix all their problems in that short time period.

It did not happen any of those times, but this team, specifically the defense, is better than what we have seen in years past. And we are not playing Notre Dame off a bye, which was the case in three of those four losses.

I think the Tar Heels win, but it will be by a touchdown.

This bet was almost chosen as the hammer.

When breaking down UNC’s scoring by quarter, the second quarter is their most productive.

In each game this season, Carolina has scored in double-digits in the second quarter. The Tar Heels have scored 55 points in the second quarter, compared to 40 in the third, 21 in the first, and 14 in the fourth.

The first half spread is UNC -5.5 at -108 odds. Not only do we get Carolina’s best quarter in on the bet, but we have great value at -108.

For our first player prop of the season, I think J.J. Jones is due for a touchdown.

Jones was Drake Maye’s top target against Pitt with six catches, and he set a career-high with 117 receiving yards.

Jones hauling in a touchdown is at +170. Let’s see if Maye can get it to him in the end zone.

Week 6 Picks

Syracuse +8.5

UNC first half spread: -5.5

J.J. Jones Receiving TD

Hammer: Over 59.5

Hedge: UNC alternate spread: -10.5 at +107

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