Free NCAAF Pick: UNC at Clemson Doc’s Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels will open play in the ACC this Saturday night against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (ET), and this conference clash will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

North Carolina comes into this matchup looking to rebound after getting pasted by East Carolina last week on the road in a 70-41 loss. According to betting trends, the closing pointspread in this game had the Tar Heels actually favored by a point. They are now 2-1 straight up on the year with a 0-3 record against the spread. North Carolina is just 3-7 ATS in its last 11 road games.

The Tigers blew a golden opportunity to move way up in the national rankings this past Saturday against No. 1 Florida State, but they could not pull off the upset in a 23-17 overtime loss as 9.5-point road underdogs.Instead, Clemson has dropped out of the latest AP Top 25 poll with a record of 1-2 SU (2-1 ATS). Its other setback was a 45-21 loss to No. 12 Georgia on opening weekend as a 10-point underdog on the road.

North Carolina at Clemson Betting Storylines

Last week was the Tar Heels first real test of the new season, and they failed miserably. They turned a tight game after the first quarter into a rout heading into the fourth by getting outscored 42-14 in the middle two quarters of play. North Carolina’s offense has to be somewhat pleased with putting up 41 points in this game, but its defense was completely shredded by Pirates’ quarterback Shane Carden, who ended the day with 438 passing yards and four touchdown throws.

In their first two games the Tar Heels gave up 29 points to Division IAA Liberty and 27 points to San Diego State in a tight four-point victory as 14.5-point home favorites. North Carolina is ranked 21st in the nation in scoring with an average of 42.7 points a game, and quarterback Marquise Williams has thrown for 551 yards while adding another 152 yards on the ground. However, it’s hard to see this defense keeping Clemson from scoring many points this Saturday night.

The Tigers have to be kicking themselves after Saturday’s near miss, but there are plenty of positive takeaways from such a heartbreaking loss. Freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson took another step forward with 266 yards passing while completing 19-of-28 throws. He also ran for 30 yards and a score on 12 carries. The Tigers did an excellent job of spreading the ball around all night long with 11 different players posting at least one reception in this game.

The biggest plus had to be the Clemson defense, which kept the pressure on Seminoles backup quarterback Sean Maguire from the opening snap. This unit also held running back Karlos Williams to just 45 yards on 10 carries as Florida State attempted to fill the void created by a one-game suspension of starting quarterback Jameis Winston.

North Carolina at Clemson Betting Odds and Trends
Pointspread: Clemson -13.5
Total Line: OFF

According to Cover’s betting trends, the Tar Heels are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a SU loss and 5-1 ATS in their last six conference games. The total has stayed “under” in six of their last eight games against a team from the ACC.

The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss and 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games in the ACC. The total has gone “over” in six of their last eight home games.

Head-to-head in this matchup, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, and the total has gone over in three of the last four games.

College Football Picks: North Carolina at Clemson Betting Predictions

The Tar Heels find themselves facing the wrong team at the wrong time in this ACC tilt. They proved that they are not going to be one of the elite teams in the ACC, and they now have the tall task of going on the road to face a very good Clemson team that will be looking to take its recent frustrations out on someone. That someone is North Carolina, and it will be by far more than the current 13.5-point spread.

Take: # 172 Clemson (-13.5) over North Carolina – 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27

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