College Football Odds, Picks for App State vs. UNC

College Football Odds, Picks for App State vs. UNC article feature image

John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: UNC quarterback Drake Maye.

App State vs North Carolina Odds

Saturday, Sept. 9
5:15 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Appalachian State Odds
-110o / -110u
North Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Last year, Appalachian State and North Carolina kicked off their seasons with one of the wildest games of the 2022 season that ended in a 63-61 UNC victory. North Carolina took a 2-1 in the series and will look to extend that lead this season.

Appalachian State actually closed pregame as a short home favorite in last year's matchup.

This year, the series shifts to Chapel Hill. North Carolina enters as an 18.5-point favorite at home, while the total sits at 58.5 points.

In last year's matchup, both teams cleared this total on their own. This year, one side may do most of the scoring.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

App State Mountaineers

Gone from last year's  App State roster is two-year starting quarterback Chase Brice. Redshirt freshman Ryan Burger got the start against Gardner Webb and had a solid debut, going 7-for-11 with 70 yards and touchdown pass before departing with a finger injury.

Junior Joey Aguilar came in relief and was nearly perfect, going 11-for-13 for 174 yards and four touchdown passes.

Burger's status will be something to monitor moving forward, and it was expected that Aguilar was going to play last week regardless. However, you have to assume that Aguilar may be the favorite to start this week.

Head coach Shawn Clark has already stated that while Burger won the job out of camp, it's not a guarantee that he will remain the starter for the entire season.

Redshirt junior running back Nate Noel has long been part of a tandem with Camerun Peoples, but it may be his backfield this year. He ran for 117 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in last week's victory.

Appalachian State is a team that usually wants to run the football, and that remained the case in the season opener with 43 rushing attempts compared to 24 passes. However, it will look to improve its efficiency.

Removing two sacks from the ledger, the Mountaineers still averaged just 3.85 yards per carry.

The explosive plays came in the passing game as Aguilar averaged 10.2 yards per attempt. He connected on three touchdown passes of 25 yards or more to Dashaun Davis, Kaedin Robinson and Dalton Stroman. Robinson led the way with four receptions for 64 yards and the score.

Defensively, the Mountaineers allowed 24 points on five yards per play — miraculously five yards against both the run and pass. They forced three turnovers, two interceptions and one fumble.

However, two things stood out the most to me:

  1. Appalachian State didn't create much pressure, failing to record a sack last week and recording only three tackles for loss.
  2. It also allowed Gardner Webb to convert 8-for-18 on third-down attempts. If the Mountaineers don't put pressure on Drake Maye, they'll be in for a long day.
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North Carolina Tar Heels

In Week 1, the transition to new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey was a smooth one, as quarterback Drake Maye was nearly flawless in the first three quarters. He finished 24-for-32 for 269 yards and two touchdown passes.

He also threw two interceptions on consecutive passes in the second half, but they didn't prove costly.

Running back British Brooks led the ground attack with 103 yards on 15 carries, while Omarion Hampton punched in two short touchdowns.

The Tar Heels averaged over six yards per play in the victory.

Receiver Kobe Paysour and tight ends John Copenhaver and Bryson Nesbit are more than enough to handle the load offensively, especially after Paysour and Copenhaver each caught touchdowns last week.

North Carolina dominated the trenches last week on both sides of the ball. It didn't surrender a sack offensively, while its defense sacked South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler nine times. It was a welcome sight for a defense that had just 20 sacks last season.

Linebackers Amari Gainer — a Florida State transfer — and Kaimon Rucker each had two sacks, while linebacker Cedric Gray and defensive lineman Beau Atkinson posted 1.5 sacks each.

Appalachian State vs. North Carolina

Betting Pick & Prediction

Last year, North Carolina lit up Appalachian State's defense for 63 points in Maye's second college start.

Maye is now widely regarded as one of the nation's best quarterbacks, while Appalachian State lost a ton of production. The Mountaineers sit -10 in TARP, including -3 defensively this season.

This year, the running clock has gotten a lot of attention, particularly with its impact on totals. However, North Carolina is a fast-paced team and had no problem moving up and down the field on a tougher South Carolina defense.

UNC posted 31 points with over six minutes left in the third quarter, but the two interceptions — along with South Carolina possessing the ball in its comeback attempt — limited its opportunities for more points.

This week, UNC's team total sits at 38.5, which is essentially projecting 40 points barring a two-point conversion for them to land exactly at 39 points.

I expect North Carolina to be balanced on offense and pick its spots in how it wants to dice up this Appalachian State defense.

I'm expecting a big game from Maye, in particular, after he threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns against App State last season. Expect Maye to lead his Tar Heels to at least 40 points this week.

Pick: North Carolina Team Total Over 38.5

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