North Carolina (5-4) travels to Heinz Field to face off against No. 21 Pittsburgh (7-2) on Thursday night in an important divisional matchup. The Panthers have won five of their last six games and they sit atop the ACC Coastal Division standings with their 4-1 conference mark. UNC remains mathematically alive in the Coastal as the Tar Heels sit two games behind Pitt in the conference, but they need an upset in this matchup to keep any conference title hopes alive.
Kickoff from Heinz Field is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The latest UNC vs. Pittsburgh odds from Caesars Sportsbook list the Panthers as 6.5-point favorites, up a point from the opening line. The over-under for total points has fallen to 72 after opening at 75. Before making any Pitt vs. North Carolina picks, make sure you check out the college football predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 11 of the 2021 season on a 31-20 run on all top-rated college football side picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh and just locked in its coveted college football picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the college football odds and betting lines for Pittsburgh vs. UNC:
- UNC vs. Pittsburgh spread: Pitt -6.5
- UNC vs. Pittsburgh over-under: 72 points
- UNC vs. Pittsburgh money line: North Carolina +200, Pittsburgh -240
- PITT: The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall
- UNC: The over is 7-1 in UNC's last eight games as a road underdog
Why Pittsburgh can cover
Redshirt senior quarterback Kenny Pickett is fifth in the nation with 3,171 passing yards. Pickett is also third in the nation with 29 passing touchdowns. The New Jersey native has tossed for more than 300 yards in six games this year. During the last two weeks, Pickett has thrown for 935 yards.
In Week 9 against Miami (FL), Pickett went 39 of 55 for 519 yards with three scores. The following week against Duke, he went 28 of 43 for 416 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 57 yards with a score. Pickett is fifth in the nation with 352.3 passing yards per game, and that leads to a big mismatch against a UNC squad that ranks ninth in the ACC in passing defense.
Why North Carolina can cover
Quarterback Sam Howell can also sling it, and he has some strong options to throw to. Sophomore receiver Josh Downs is the leading pass-catcher for North Carolina with 74 receptions. Downs is fifth in the nation with 1,014 receiving yards and is tied for 11th with eight receiving touchdowns. The Georgia native started the season off by catching at least eight passes in five straight games.
He also recorded over 100 receiving yards in four games thus far. Downs exploded for eight catches with 203 yards and two scores against Virginia. He leads the ACC with 112.7 receiving yards per game to add to his impressive campaign. The Tar Heels will be up against a Pitt defense that allows 237 passing yards per game.
How to make North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 71 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the model's Pitt vs. North Carolina picks at SportsLine.
So who wins North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.