The defenses will be tested on Friday afternoon when the second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish visit Chapel Hill to face the 25th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in an ACC showdown. The Irish (7-0), a temporary conference football member, are in line for a potential playoff spot behind a potent offense that averages more than 37 points per game under the guidance of quarterback Ian Book. But North Carolina (6-2) averages more than 43 per contest with sophomore Sam Howell running the show. Both teams have had a week off to prepare.
Kickoff from Kenan Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Fighting Irish as 5.5-point favorites in the latest Notre Dame vs. North Carolina odds, and the over-under for total points scored is 70. Before making any North Carolina vs. Notre Dame picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
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- Notre Dame vs. North Carolina: Fighting Irish -5.5
- Notre Dame vs. North Carolina over-under: 70
- Notre Dame vs. North Carolina money line: Fighting Irish -210, Tar Heels +170
- ND: WR Javon McKinley has 15 catches for 243 yards over the last three games.
- UNC: RB Javonte Williams has topped 100 yards in five of his last six games.
Why Notre Dame can cover
The road team is 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings, and the Irish are 18-1 against the Tar Heels all-time. Book has thrown for 1,818 yards and is second on the team with 364 rushing, and he has 11 TD passes against just one interception. Kyren Williams is the leading rusher with 777 yards (5.7 per carry) and 10 touchdowns. The Irish should find success against a UNC defense that allows 413.6 yards (151.9 on the ground) and nearly 31 points per game.
The Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games, and the defense is allowing just 16.6 points per game (14th in FBS). Safety Kyle Hamilton (team-high 39 tackles) and linebacker Drew White (37) make the stops, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (1.5 sacks, TD) makes the big plays. Ends Adetokunbo Ogundeji and Isaiah Foskey, with 3.5 sacks apiece, should get pressure on Howell, who has been taken down 22 times and has thrown six interceptions.
Why North Carolina can cover
UNC is 25-7 against the spread in its last 32 at home against a team with a winning road record, and Howell is among the nation's best QBs. He is third in FBS in passing yards (2,631) and eighth in yards per game (328.9), and he is tied for second with 23 TD passes. Dyami Brown has eight TDs and 829 receiving yards (18.4 per catch). Fellow wideout Dazz Newsome went for 189 yards and two TDs in a 59-53 win against Wake Forest in UNC's last game.
The Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in their last four after an ATS loss, but the win against Wake showed how potent the offense can be. UNC has two backs over 800 rushing yards, and Javonte Williams went for 101 against Wake to give him a team-high 868. He averages 7.2 yards per carry and has 15 TDs, while Michael Carter averages 7.0 yards per attempt. Defensively, the Heels have 27 sacks, led by linebacker Tomon Fox with 4.5, and nine takeaways.
How to make Notre Dame vs. North Carolina picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with the model suggesting the Irish defense will force turnovers and the Tar Heels will struggle to run the ball. It also says one side of the spread is hitting over 60 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins North Carolina vs. Notre Dame? And which side of the spread cashes in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Notre Dame vs. North Carolina spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $3,600 on its top-rated college football spread picks, and find out.