Sportsbooks are so perplexed by the North Carolina Tar Heels that they decided to not release the betting line for Saturday's contest against Campbell until Saturday morning. Whether it be pure confusion of what Mack Brown’s team will bring to the table, or the fact that FCS lines are not typically released until a day or two before the game, something has been off pace in the last two weeks of Carolina Football. We know that. But the only direction for the Tar Heels is up after back to back disastrous losses to ACC opponents.
The tide changes this week, as the (4-4) Campbell Camels come to town in hopes of following in the footsteps of Virginia and Georgia Tech by spoiling a party (that has just about wrapped up) that no one even knew they were invited to.
This will be North Carolina’s first matchup against an FCS opponent this season, and it comes at a cloudy time, as I touched on. But regardless of what happened and what is to come, there is football to be played, and this new road of the Heels season begins at Kenan Stadium at 12pm EST on Saturday.
So what’s the good news? Well...if we can flush the fact that UNC has lost back to back games as double digit favorites, there is a spread to hesitantly take a peek at, and we have some thoughts on how you should approach betting it.
Here is the spread and total:
UNC (-38.5) vs. Campbell
FCS opponents are always a little tricky, so tread lightly, but here is some notes to consider when it comes to what to expect from the Tar Heels in these types of games.
Dating back to the beginning of Mack 2.0, UNC is (1-3) ATS against FCS opponents and the total has gone under in 3 out of 4. With that being said, Carolina has taken care of business handily in all of these contests.
The Heels should have no trouble doing just about everything to find success on Saturday. I expect this to be a comfortable domination from the offense and while Campbell will find the end zone, the defense should put together some quick stops and (hopefully) create turnovers.
On the other side, Campbell has shown they can score the football at a reasonably high level, as they've cracked 45 points in three different occasions. Quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams has thrown lots of touchdowns this season, but past game scripts imply they lean heavy on their rushing attack to get them down the field.
Contrary to the presentiment of UNC Football fans, I do see light at the end of the tunnel, and I think Drake Maye and Omarion Hampton come out firing after this period of let down and dissapointment. After everything that has happened, all these guys want to do is do what they're supposed to do, and I think they will do just that.
Like I mentioned, this is a weird game to bet on. Losing streak, FCS opponent, half empty stadium, guys banged up, and more are just a few reasons to proceed with caution when firing up your sportsbook of choice. But I’ll leave you with this.
North Carolina First Half Spread.
This is a ‘get right’ week for the Tar Heels, which can sometimes mean taking care of business early to see some new personnel in the later snaps. Second halves can get weird and unpredictable in blowouts, and I want no part of this game in late action, especially with how North Carolina has held leads as of late.
Once we get past a scripted first drive and some quick adjustments, it should be smooth sailing for Carolina, and I think they will do everything they can to put this game out of reach as early as possible.
I lean slightly towards the under due to Campbell’s run heavy game plan, but also because of what we have seen from Chip Lindsey in previous contents when games are out of reach. He seems to take the air out of the ball and let the clock kill itself.
Player props are once again, really tough to gauge in a game where we have no idea how long some guys will play. With a big rivalry home game next week, I assume the coaching staff will take zero risks with anyone if the score is extremely lopsided. So I am going advise being careful of any particular player bets this week.
After everything that has gone down in the last 21 days, it seems like a team we were finally figuring out is now the farthest from any understanding. So in a weird late season FCS game, bet responsibly.