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Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels – Hyundai Sun Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 30, 2016

Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels – Hyundai Sun Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 30, 2016


Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview

Where: Sun Bowl — El Paso, Texas

When: Friday, December 30, 2016, 2:00 PM ET

Line: Stanford Cardinal (-3) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (+3); total: 54.5 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: CBS


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Betting on the Stanford Cardinal (-3)

18th-ranked Stanford is making its eighth-straight bowl appearance this season, which is the longest active bowl streak in the Pac-12. And more importantly, it heads into this game on a five-game winning streak; a stretch wherein quarterback Keller Chryst has been flat-out phenomenal since replacing struggling senior Ryan Burns in the starting lineup.

Chryst has thrown for seven touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his last four games. The Cardinal will need him to continue playing high-quality and error-free football, especially with Christian McCaffery sitting this one out in order to begin his early training for the upcoming NFL Draft.

With him out, that also means more time to shine for Bryce Love as the team’s main backfield threat. The quick-footed running back accounted for 644 yards on 90 carries with three TDs this year, including a season-best 129 rushing yards in a win at Notre Dame.

Defensively, the Cardinal look iffy with a handful of banged-up players, but still, the team’s managed to hold five of its last seven opponents below 20 points and currently ranks 30th overall in total defense.

Stanford’s won its last six bow games, and is 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in its previous 10 games.

Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (+3)

North Carolina’s fate is essentially in the hands of Mitch Trubisky, who could potentially end up as the No. 1 overall pick in the approaching 2017 NFL Draft.

It would be an understatement to use good in describing the junior QB’s overall play. Trubisky has passed for 3,468 yards and 28 touchdowns with just four interceptions, while owning a 68.9 percent completion rate in the regular season. He carried the Tar Heels to a 4-2 record (4-2 ATS) to close out the season, despite failing to secure the win in their finale against NC State.

Trubisky also has six touchdown passes with no picks in his last two games—a very good sign for a North Carolina offense that will be without its go-to running back in Elijah Hood because of unrevealed medical reasons.

Leading receiver Ryan Switzer, who carries a team-high 1,027 yards on 91 catches and five scores, is expected to play a bigger role in maneuvering past a Stanford defense that’s given up five passing touchdowns in its last four matches.

Writer’s Prediction

UNC (-3) wins it, 31-27.

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Bief
Written by Bief

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