Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (25) Betting Picks and Predictions

November 22, 2020

Date:Friday, November 27th
Time:3:30 PM ET
Network:ABC
Venue:Kenan Stadium
Spread:Notre Dame -5
O/U:64.5

The 8-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will go on the road Friday afternoon to face off with the 6-2 North Carolina Tar Heels at 3:30 PM ET in Kenan Stadium. You can tune into the ACC showdown on ABC. The Fighting Irish come in as five-point road favorites and we’re expecting plenty of points with a 64.5 over/under. The Tar Heels season hasn’t necessarily gone to plan, but they would love nothing more than to tear down the Fighting Irish with them. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of my CFB Picks and Predictions for this upcoming weekend slate of games.

Trends

  • Fighting Irish are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
  • Over is 5-1 in Fighting Irish last 6 games following a bye week.
  • Over is 4-0 in Tar Heels last 4 games overall.

When The Fighting Irish Have The Ball

The Fighting Irish run a balanced offense, but senior QB Ian Book is the heart and soul and he must have a big game against North Carolina. The Irish have a plethora of weapons and Book finally seems comfortable throwing the ball. Javon McKinley leads the team with 424 yards while Ben Skowronek has found the end zone five times in as many games. North Carolina has been susceptible to the pass and Book must have a monster game if Notre Dame wants to win. 

Notre Dame still wants to run the ball when they can and Kyren Williams has been a beast this season. He’s up to 777 yards and 10 scores on the ground with another 17 receptions for 215 yards. Williams is the best player on this Irish offense and he will see 20+ touches in this game.

When The Tar Heels Have The Ball

The hype is surrounding QB Sam Howell, but the Tar Heels want to run the ball as much as possible. Javonte Williams (868 yards, 15 TD) and Michael Carter (807 yards, 4 TD)  have carried it a combined 236 times while Howell has attempted 248 passes. He’s up to 2,631 yards on the season with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. Carter and Williams might just be the best pair of running backs in the country and they will touch the ball 30+ times combined.

Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome are two of the more electric receivers in the country and they have to show up for this game. They’ve gone silent at times this season and UNC can’t afford that for even a half here. Look for Howell to get the pair 20 combined targets at a minimum as they are the only receivers with a 1-on-1 advantage against anyone in the ND secondary. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Notre Dame -5

The Irish are the better overall team, though this game is going to be a challenge. If the Notre Dame side doesn’t show up, North Carolina can easily beat them. They average the 3rd most yards per game in the country and score the second most amount of points. I expect the Irish to come out firing as a loss here kicks them out of the playoffs. The Tar Heels have a lot less to play for and I like the Irish to win this one by at least a touchdown.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 64.5
Final Score Prediction: Notre Dame 41, North Carolina 35

If Notre Dame wants to win, they’ll have to outscore North Carolina. The Irish defense is tough, but this Tar Heels offense is a machine and they put up points one way or another. The defense is horrible, however, and Book and Williams should have plenty of fun. The over is the only bet to make in this game and it’s one of my favorite bets on Friday night. 

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