North Carolina vs. Georgia State Odds & Picks: Upset Brewing In Week 2?

North Carolina vs. Georgia State Odds & Picks: Upset Brewing In Week 2? article feature image

Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: Georgia State wide receiver Jamari Thrash.

  • North Carolina travels south to take on Georgia State in a Week 2 college football matchup.
  • This marks the second week in a row that the Tar Heels have hit the road to face a Sun Belt team, which is rare for an ACC team.
  • Stuckey breaks down North Carolina vs. Georgia State below and shares his best bet.

North Carolina vs. Georgia State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 10
12 p.m. ET
North Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Georgia State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

UNC will head out on the road for a second straight road game against a Sun Belt team — not something you see a Power Five team do often.

With a bye on deck prior to a matchup against Notre Dame, head coach Mack Brown will try to keep his kids focused on an opponent UNC crushed last year by a final score of 59-17.

Meanwhile, Georgia State will seek revenge for that embarrassing loss. The Panthers should come back to Atlanta with full focus after losing their opener at South Carolina.

Yes, Georgia State lost, 35-14, but that final margin is extremely misleading. In fact, the Panthers actually outgained the Gamecocks but simply couldn’t overcome a litany of special teams mistakes.

They started off the game by turning the ball over on downs inside the South Carolina 10. The Gamecocks eventually added points via two field goals from 50-plus yards and two touchdowns via punt blocks.

Can the Panthers keep it closer this time around against another Carolina school, or will UNC jump out to a 3-0 start before its bye week? Let's take a look.

North Carolina Tar Heels

After failing to live up to lofty preseason expectations last year, the Heels come into this season a bit under the radar after losing quarterback Sam Howell to the NFL. Maybe that's exactly what's needed in Chapel Hill.

Well, through two weeks, we've seen two wins — but it looks like the same old Heels.

That's a good thing for the offense, as Drake Maye has looked like a future star under center. That's a massive early development after losing a talent like Howell, especially considering UNC had a quarterback battle during camp.

However, that's not a positive development for a defense that couldn't stop a nosebleed last year.

As a result, Gene Chizik was brought in to help overhaul the defense and fix the laundry list of problems. Well, after watching App State run for almost seven yards per carry while receivers were streaking down the field uncovered, Chizik has a long way to go.

There's certainly talent on that side of the ball, especially in the secondary, but there seem to be larger problems plaguing this side of the ball.

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Georgia State Panthers

After a rough start to the season in 2021, Darren Grainger eventually took over the reins at quarterback and turned things around.

The Panthers finished the season by winning seven of their final eight games with the lone loss coming by four points against eventual conference champion Louisiana.

Georgia State hopes it can build on that momentum with one of the most experienced teams in the country. It starts with Grainger and a very dynamic backfield that spearheads a rush-first offense with a very strong and experienced offensive line.

The 3-4 defense is also super experienced and can generate plenty of pressure on passing downs.

North Carolina vs. Georgia State Betting Pick

Georgia State catching a touchdown or more is one of my favorite bets on the board this week. Not only do I show value on the number compared to my projections, but I also like the situational spot and matchup.

The UNC defense has not fixed any of its issues, which means Georgia State should have no issues controlling the clock and time of possession with its run-first attack. Keep in mind that App State ran for 6.7 yards per carry last week.

On the other side of the ball, I think Georgia State can generate enough pressure to force Maye into a few key mistakes. And while the freshman has been tremendous in two starts and certainly looks the part, opposing teams now have some film to work with.

The Panthers have shown in the past they can compete with P5 teams. They won at Tennessee in 2019 and almost pulled off a major upset at Auburn last year. This veteran bunch should bounce back from last week and has a very good shot to pull off this upset.

From a total perspective, I'd look at going under a number that's a bit inflated after UNC's high-scoring affair last week. Georgia State ultimately wants to control the clock on the ground, which it should be able to do this week.

UNC star wide receiver Josh Downs may also miss his second straight game with an injury, which would make sense with a bye week on deck.

Pick: Georgia State +7 or Better

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