North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Betting Odds, Predictions: The Spread Pick to Make (Saturday, Oct. 30)

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Betting Odds, Predictions: The Spread Pick to Make (Saturday, Oct. 30) article feature image
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Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyren Williams.

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Odds

Saturday, Oct. 30
7:30 p.m. ET
NBC
North Carolina Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3.5
-110
63
-115o / -105u
+155
Notre Dame Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3.5
-110
63
-115o / -105u
-180
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Mack Brown and his North Carolina team travels to South Bend, Indiana, to take on Brian Kelly and Notre Dame on Saturday night.

It’s been an up-and-down season for North Carolina, which sits at 4-3 after being ranked in the top 10 to begin the season. The Tar Heels are coming off of a bye, but the last time they were on the field, they barely beat Miami at home, 45-42.

Defense has been the biggest problem for the Tar Heels this season, and they’ll need to show up on Saturday night, or else they’re going to drop to 4-4 on the season.

Notre Dame has been much better than expected this season with its lone loss coming at home to Cincinnati. The Fighting Irish dominated USC last weekend, winning 31-16, and have a great shot to finish the season with only one loss with Navy, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Stanford left on the schedule.

The Fighting Irish have leaned on their defense a lot this season, and they will need to have a big performance against the best quarterback they’ve seen this season.


North Carolina Tar Heels

Tar Heel Offense

Sam Howell and the North Carolina passing attack have been really solid this season.

Howell is averaging 8.8 yards per attempt, but he has regressed from last season. This year, his passing grade sits at 72.6, when it was at 91.6 last season, per PFF.

Additionally, North Carolina is 76th in EPA/Pass and 70th in Passing Success Rate. That’s a problem since it’s going up against a top-15 secondary in college football.

Most of North Carolina’s success offensively this season has come on the ground behind Ty Chandler and Howell, who are both gaining over 5.0 yards per carry.

That has led North Carolina to rank 10th in Rushing Success Rate, 11th in Offensive Line Yards, 19th in EPA/rush, and 14th in rushing explosiveness.

ATTENTION: SAM HOWELL IS A GROWN MAN‼️pic.twitter.com/bv5KG8RV6O

— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 16, 2021

However, this is potentially the best run defense UNC has seen this season, as Notre Dame allow only 3.8 yards per attempt.

Tar Heel Defense 

The North Carolina defense has been really bad this season against both the run and the pass.

The front seven is allowing 4.2 yards per carry, ranks 90th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 74th EPA/Rush, and 75th in Stuff Rate. So, even though Notre Dame’s rushing attack hasn’t been that successful this season, it should find a way on the Tar Heels front seven.

The secondary has been a big issue as well, as North Carolina allows7.4 yards per attempt and ranks 79th in EPA/Pass allowed. The Tar Heels also are 91st in tackling, per PFF. Even though Notre Dame’s passing attack hasn’t been efficient, it should be able to move the ball on North Carolina.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Fighting Irish Offense

The Fighting Irish offense with Jack Coan under center has been very average all season. But most of its success has come through the air, as Coan is averaging only 7.4 yards per attempt and has Notre Dame ranking 61st in Passing Success Rate.

However, the rushing attack has really struggled, which is surprising since it features one of the most talented running backs in the country in Kyren Williams, who finally had his first game with over 100 yards rushing against USC last week.

So nice, he did it twice ✌️@Kyrenwilliams23 scores his second touchdown of the night!#GoIrish | @NDFootball pic.twitter.com/qwldjTHDEr

— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) October 24, 2021

However, Williams is gaining only 4.2 yards per carry. Notre Dame is 127th in Rushing Success Rate and 113th in EPA/Rush, but this is Tar Heels team has one of the worst run defenses it’s seen this season.

Fighting Irish Defense

The reason Notre Dame is 6-1 this season is because of its defense, which has been elite in allowing only 5.1 yards per carry and ranking 16th in EPA/Play.

Its main strength is the secondary, which will be big against a quarterback with Howell’s talent. The Fighting Irish are allowing only 6.7 yards per pass attempt and have the 12th-best coverage grade, per PFF.

The Irish are also the 14th-best team in terms of tackling and second in explosive passing allowed, so it’s going to likely be a long day for Howell and the Heels.

The Notre Dame rush defense has also been pretty solid, as it’s 24th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 32nd in Defensive Line Yards. It’s been much improved of late as well, as it’s held its last five opponents under 4.0 yards per carry.


North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how North Carolina and Notre Dame match up statistically:

North Carolina Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 10 24
Line Yards 9 32
Pass Success 70 54
Pass Blocking** 38 51
Big Play 65 95
Havoc 112 53
Finishing Drives 33 23
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Notre Dame Offense vs. North Carolina Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 113 91
Line Yards 124 51
Pass Success 61 59
Pass Blocking** 31 104
Big Play 124 49
Havoc 105 79
Finishing Drives 81 64
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 92 12
Coverage 78 14
Middle 8 115 94
SP+ Special Teams 77 65
Plays per Minute 55 53
Rush Rate 56.1% (59) 51.% (89)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Betting Pick

Notre Dame has proved everyone wrong up until this point in the season and now is in the driver’s seat to finish the season 11-1.

Howell’s regression from last season is very real, and going up against a top-15 secondary is a nightmare matchup for the Tar Heel passing attack.

I have Notre Dame projected at -9.38, so I think there’s some value on the Fighting Irish at -3.5 and would play it up to -5.5.

Pick: Notre Dame -3.5

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