This Friday, we have a historic rivalry meeting on the NCAAF odds board between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Let’s see how they’ll do, and don’t forget you can find the best North Carolina betting guides at Bookmakers Review.
North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Friday, November 25, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Kenan Memorial Stadium
They say that when rivals meet, you can throw out the records. NC State and the University of North Carolina wouldn’t mind if you did that this year.
State entered the season with expectations of its best football year in generations, with returning starters across the board and one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC in Devin Leary.
Leary suffered a season-ending injury in October, however, and the Pack enter the regular season finale at 7-4, 3-4 in the ACC and having lost their last two games.
North Carolina didn’t have quite as high expectations entering the year with a freshman quarterback, but Drake Maye emerged as a Heisman candidate as the Tar Heels won the ACC Coastal Division and had hopes of things breaking their way for a bid to the College Football Playoff. Instead, the week after clinching, Maye had his worst outing of the year and Carolina was upset at home by Georgia Tech, ending all the lofty hopes the team had.
Now, both teams will hope to salvage their regular seasons and wash away the bad taste with a win over the team they most want to beat. Both teams enter their rivalry game coming off of losses for the first time since 2006 and just the twelfth time since the ACC was founded, 70 years ago.
Leary was named ACC Player of the Year after throwing 35 touchdown passes last season –a record for a school that has produced Phillip Rivers and Russell Wilson. He went down against Florida State on October 8, tearing a pectoral muscle. The Wolfpack has gone 2-3 since. They’ve also scrambled to find a quarterback who sticks around.
Charleston Southern transfer Jack Chambers took over after Leary went down, but he lasted a game and a half before freshman MJ Morris took over and Chambers went to the bench.
Morris led a win over Wake Forest, but he went down with an undisclosed lower-body injury in the next game. He was visibly limping after the game and reportedly underwent an MRI before being ruled out for last week’s game. His status for this week is uncertain, but it appears the Pack is back to Chambers.
NC State had a number of players miss last week’s loss to Louisville, including:
- Center Grant Gibson
- Tight end Trent Pennix
- Running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye
- Wide receiver Devin Carter
- Linebacker Payton Wilson
- Defensive back Tyler Baker-Williams
The status of each will be monitored up to game time.
It’s tough to imagine a rivalry game being a trap game, but the Tar Heels are coming off a brutal loss to Georgia Tech last weekend that torpedoed their hopes for a special season. State comes to town a week before UNC plays Clemson for the ACC title in the league championship game. First, they’ll need to match the emotion of a Wolfpack team that will treat this game as their Super Bowl.
The Heels may have to do it without one of their top targets on offense. Antoine Green, UNC’s second-leading receiver with 30 catches, 678 yards and six scores, as well as a team-high 22.8 yards per catch, missed last week’s game with an upper-body injury.
If their rivals in town and a desire to wipe away the sting of the Georgia Tech loss weren’t motivation enough, UNC will look back at last year’s loss to the Wolfpack. Carolina led in the fourth quarter, but State scored two touchdowns in 26 seconds to get an improbable upset win.
"I feel like they stole one from us last year,” said UNC linebacker Cedric Gray. “It's a rivalry game, so we're definitely going to be very, very motivated for this NC State game.''
Prior to last week’s clunker against Tech, Drake Maye was one of the surprise stories of this season, emerging as one of the best passers in the nation
For your NCAAF picks, look for him to get back on track and air things out in his first rivalry week game as a starter. Maye will air it out as the Heels swamp the Pack.
NCAAF Pick: Over 56.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.