North Carolina Tar Heels vs. East Carolina Pirates
Saturday, 9/20/14, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: East Carolina -1
Current Betting Line: East Carolina -2.5
Opening Total: 64
Current Total: 66
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
North Carolina is set to play its first road game of the season, as it was last seen picking up a 31-27 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs as 14.5-point home favorites on Sept. 6, while going UNDER the betting total of 60. The Tar Heels lead this overall series 12-3-1, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 4 college football predictions, including a 2-1 mark when playing in Greenville. It’s important to point out that the team’s final 10 opponents are a combined 24-5 and five of those squads have an unblemished record. North Carolina is 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons.
The Tar Heels are fourth in the country in turnover margin, which is important to consider when looking over the college football lines, especially since they’ve scored on all nine red zone possessions during the 2014 campaign. Over the last 15 games, North Carolina has also managed to score 10 non-offensive touchdowns—five punt returns, three interception returns and two kickoff returns. It’s important to point out that the squad’s most experienced offensive linemen Landon Turner with 19 career starts will miss this affair due to an injury.
East Carolina is set to close out its non-conference schedule after picking up a 28-21 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies as 9.5-point road underdogs in Week 4, while it has won the statistical battle in all three games this season. The Pirates have won their last three games versus Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, while they’ve proven victorious in eight of their last nine affairs at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. East Carolina is 6-4 SU and 7-2 ATS in September the last two-plus seasons.
The Pirates are enjoying the benefits of hiring Rick Smith as their defensive coordinator before last season, as they allowed an average of 430.0 yards from 2010-12, but have given up 368.8 and 334.7 respectively in 2013 and this season. Offensively, East Carolina is capable of matching scores with just about anyone, considering senior quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Justin Hardy have connected for 20 touchdowns during their careers.
Sports bettors will likely back the Tar Heels due to their 6-1 ATS mark in the last seven meetings in this series.
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