North Carolina vs. Florida State Preview
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, Florida
When: Saturday, October 1, 3:30 PM ET
Line: North Carolina Tar Heels (+11) vs. Florida State Seminoles (-11); total 69.0 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Writer’s Pick: Florida State Seminoles (-11)
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Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (+11)
North Carolina (3-1, 2-2 ATS) has bounced back quite nicely from its Week 1 loss to Georgia. The Tar Heels have reeled off three straight wins, which includes their terrific come-from-behind 37-36 win over Pitt last week.
Mitch Trubisky has been an integral part of the team’s resurgence. After a shaky start against Georgia, the junior QB has played like one of the best quarterbacks in the entire country. He’s racked up an average of 383 passing yards on a ridiculous 80 percent completion percentage with 10 TDs and zero picks in his past three games.
With Trubisky playing so well, and a trio of excellent receivers in Ryan Switzer (16 catches, 208 yards, 1 TD vs. Pitt), Austin Proehl, and Bug Howard at his disposal, UNC should be able to move the ball well on FSU. The Noles are still missing key defensive back Derwin James, and have been lousy in coverage. They are giving up 8.9 yards per pass attempt, tied for 116th in the country.
Their defense is highly unlikely to pull off consistent stops on the road against a very good Florida State team, though, which means the offense will be under pressure to keep putting points up on the road.
Betting on the Florida State Seminoles (-11)
Florida State took its frustrations stemming from that tough 42-point loss to Louisville out on South Florida. The Noles delivered a thorough beatdown on the Bulls, 55-35, as five-point road favorites to improve to 3-1 (2-2 ATS) on the season.
After a relatively quiet first three games, Dalvin Cook and the Seminole running game finally sparked into life. Cook erupted for 267 yards on just 28 carries with two touchdowns, and the Noles had 478 yards and six rushing scores overall.
UNC’s run defense, which was infamously run over by Baylor in last year’s bowl game, remains pretty bad. They coughed up 222 yards to Nick Chubb in Week 1, and 281 yards with four touchdowns against Pitt last week. Cook and co. can have another field day on the ground if they so choose. That run game, plus Deondre Francois and his talented Noles receivers, should equate to a lot of points for the Noles.
The big question mark is the defense. The FSU pass defense has been rather disappointing thus far, but the pass rush remains formidable. They have already garnered 13 sacks this season, tied for 13th in the nation. With UNC leaning heavily on the passing game, the Noles line has the ability to dial up the type of pressure that can trouble Trubisky all night long.
Florida State (-11) has too much firepower and gets the 42-28 home win.
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