Virginia vs UNC Picks & Odds: Value on Tar Heels

Virginia vs UNC Picks & Odds: Value on Tar Heels article feature image

Pictured: Devontez Walker. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Virginia vs North Carolina Odds

Saturday, Oct. 21
6:30 p.m. ET
The CW
Virginia Odds
-115o / -105u
North Carolina Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels have vaulted themselves into the top 10 following their big win over Miami last Saturday. Sitting at 6-0, anything is possible for Drake Maye and UNC.

North Carolina's toughest test almost certainly won't be this week as it hosts the Virginia Cavaliers in Chapel Hill. Virginia is arguably the worst Power Five team and was riding a five-game losing skid until it beat William & Mary in Week 6.

Still, the Cavaliers are coming off a bye, so North Carolina can't afford to have a let-down performance. With that said, let's dive into the odds and make a North Carolina vs. Virginia pick.

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

Virginia Cavaliers

It's been a rough go for the Cavaliers this season. Whether it's been an injury to their starting quarterback or a leaky defense, Virginia has found multiple ways to lose.

As a result, the Cavaliers are 1-5. Virginia did get starting quarterback Tony Muskett back for its past two games, and he's performed well with five touchdown passes and two interceptions in that span.

The Cavaliers' offense isn't exactly loaded with playmakers, but wide receiver Malik Washington stands out with five touchdowns and 668 receiving yards, which is good for ninth in the country.

Defensively … it's not pretty. The Cavaliers are in the 100s in every relevant defensive metric on Action Analytics, other than passing success allowed — where they rank 93rd. Virginia's 103rd ranking in defensive EPA tells the same story, and the counting stats back up the advanced metrics because the Cavaliers are allowing 31.8 points per game and have only five sacks on the season.

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North Carolina Tar Heels

The North Carolina Tar Heels may not be getting the same level of attention that other unbeaten teams are getting, but they look the part of an ACC champion and a College Football Playoff contender.

UNC has played five games against Power Five teams this season and has won each by double digits. That is something no other undefeated team can say.

Drake Maye has gained steam in the Heisman conversation after stringing together some great games. After throwing four picks in his first three games, Maye has settled into the offense with 11 touchdowns (eight passing, three rushing) and zero interceptions over the past three games.

Maye's incredible arm talent and dual-threat ability is already enough for defenses to deal with, but when you add in some excellent playmakers, this offense is a nightmare to contain. Running back Omarion Hampton powers the rushing attack with 658 yards (16th in the country) and eight scores, and the recent addition of Devontez "Tez" Walker has also upgraded the offense.

Walker was eased into action against Syracuse two weeks ago, then broke out against Miami last weekend with six receptions for 132 yards and three touchdowns. None of his scores were prettier than his 56-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter:

✌️for 𝐓𝐞𝐳.

— Carolina Football (@UNCFootball) October 15, 2023

After a dreadful defensive showing last year, North Carolina has shown solid improvement this season. The Tar Heels have given up a respectable 21 points per game while ranking 15th in limiting finishing drives and 30th in passing success allowed. Linebacker Kaimon Rucker has been a force in the pass rush with 6.5 sacks, and Alijah Huzzie leads the Tar Heels with three interceptions.

Virginia vs. North Carolina

Matchup Analysis

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

Virginia Offense vs. North Carolina Defense
Rush Success12273
Line Yards100109
Pass Success6830
Finishing Drives9415
Quality Drives10544
North Carolina Offense vs. Virginia Defense
Rush Success37113
Line Yards102112
Pass Success3593
Finishing Drives73107
Quality Drives1095
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5036
PFF Coverage5124
Special Teams SP+9146
Middle 85613
Seconds per Play27.8 (86)24.6 (21)
Rush Rate55.1% (77)54.0% (72)

Virginia vs. North Carolina

Betting Pick & Prediction

North Carolina is a massive favorite in this game.

It's a large spread, and the Cavaliers are coming off a bye, but I still like UNC to cover. North Carolina looks like a really well-balanced team and Walker's addition adds so much explosiveness to the offense.

Plus, style points matter in college football and the Tar Heels should be looking to hang a lopsided score on UVA.

Pick: North Carolina -23.5 (Play to -24)

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