Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Saturday’s In-State Game (November 6)

Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Saturday’s In-State Game (November 6) article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Ty Chandler.

  • Updated odds show the North Carolina Tar Heels as 2.5-point favorites against the undefeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
  • Although both teams play in the ACC, this matchup won't count as a conference game.
  • Read on to see Kody Malstrom's best bet for Saturday's in-state showdown.

Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Odds

Saturday, Nov. 6
12 p.m. ET
Wake Forest Odds
-115o / -105u
North Carolina Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Last weekend, I traveled to South Bend, Indiana, to watch my North Carolina Tar Heels face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in person. While I'm still not ready to talk about the result of the game, it came as no surprise when thinking about how disappointing the Heels' season has become.

It also made me realize that being stuck in post-game traffic in a packed college town while still upset about the game is quite possibly the worst thing to experience.

After coming into the season with division-winning aspirations, North Carolina is now just competing to secure a bowl berth.

Wake Forest, meanwhile, has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. With an undefeated record and sitting on top of the ACC standings, Wake Forest has some potential playoff hopes if it can continue to take care of business.

Will UNC quarterback Sam Howell turn the Heels' season around and end on a strong note? Or will the Deacons continue their magical year?

Let's find out.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest Offense

The Demon Deacons' success can be solely attributed to their offensive production. While the defense has been taking them out of games, their offense has been the driving force for wins.

They boast one of the best passing units in the nation, ranking near top-10 in Pass Success and eighth in pass blocking. The solid protection has benefited quarterback Sam Hartman to a season stat line of 2,475 yards, 22 touchdowns, and three interceptions.

More importantly, Wake Forest takes care of the ball and finishes drives. The Deacons rank top-five in Havoc Allowed and 10th in Finishing Drives.

They should find no trouble in torching the North Carolina defense, as the secondary has been very weak so far this season with below-average defensive passing ranks.

Wake Forest Defense

As previously stated, while the Wake Forest offense has been keeping it in games, the defense has been taking it out of them.

The Deacs may find themselves in trouble once again, as there is a glaring weakness in the run game. North Carolina is an all-around solid offense, especially in the run game. Wake Forest currently owns defensive metric ranks of 105th in Def. Rush Success and 120th in Line Yards.

Wake will also potentially get burned through the air, as Sm Howell is one of the more lethal threats with his NFL talent arm. Wake Forest ranks 110th in Def. Pass Success, a ranking that will be put to the test if Howell gets in a rhythm with his favorite target, Josh Downs.

If Wake Forest wants to avoid getting steamrolled by the high-powered UNC offense, it will need to exploit the ability of North Carolina's mistakes. The UNC offense has been susceptible to making costly mistakes, ranking 109th in Havoc Allowed.

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North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina Offense

Potentially one of the most bipolar units in football, the Tar Heel offense can go from looking like one of the best units in football to being completely shut down.

When the offense is humming, it's usually because the success of the run game is opening up the field. So far this season, UNC ranks sixth in Rush Success and ninth in Line Yards. This is in part due to running back Ty Chandler and the fact that Howell is a dual-threat quarterback.

Chandler has 671 rushing yards and nine touchdowns at an average of 5.5 yards per rush. Howell has added 585 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

When the secondary has to start playing up on the run, this allows Howell to start cooking. He has thrown for 2,192 yards and 19 touchdowns with Downs racking up 979 yards and eight touchdowns.

North Carolina Defense

Wake Forest and North Carolina are eerily similar in the fact that both possess great offenses and very poor defenses.

Quarterbacks have had plenty of time to dissect the Tar Heel defense, as UNC ranks 109th in Def. Pass Rush. This hasn't helped the secondary at all, as the unit ranks 73rd in Def. Pass Success.

Hartman will be given plenty of chances to once again put up video game numbers.

A key metric in the downfall of the Tar Heel defense is its inability to tackle. While the number has improved slightly in the past few games, it still ranks below average at 84th.

This has led to points scored on the unit, as teams are driving on this defense and can extend drives with ease.

Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Matchup Analysis

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

Wake Forest Offense vs. North Carolina Defense
Rush Success5189
Line Yards3963
Pass Success1173
Pass Blocking**8109
Big Play5336
Finishing Drives1082
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

North Carolina Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense
Rush Success6105
Line Yards9120
Pass Success57110
Pass Blocking**3149
Big Play1977
Finishing Drives3559
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2784
Middle 825114
SP+ Special Teams3467
Plays per Minute1255
Rush Rate55.2% (66)55.9% (60)

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

Wake Forest vs. North Carolina Betting Pick

While you may look at Wake Forest's undefeated record and think, "How on earth are they an underdog?" you would quickly realize that it's schedule has been fairly easy so far.

North Carolina is going to be a step up in competition compared to what Wake Forest has gone through so far. We actually make UNC a -2.5 favorite on a neutral field going into this matchup.

This may be a shootout, as both quarterbacks have been rock solid and will be going against poor defenses.

Chandler should run wild for the Heels, forcing the Wake defense to start stacking the box. We witnessed Army's rush attack run wild on Wake Forest last week, putting up 56 points in a loss.

Howell is also No. 1 in the nation in completions over 20 yards, a stat we will see in effect as soon as Wake Forest brings up the secondary. Howell and Downs will once again be a lethal duo.

I played UNC small at -2.5 and would take this no higher than -3. I will also look to attack the over if either team starts slow in what is to be expected a shootout.

Pick: North Carolina -2.5

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