UNC vs. Wake Forest Prediction: Tar Heels Looking To Play Spoiler
Spread: UNC -2.5
Game time: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: ABC
UNC vs. Wake Forest Prediction
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons check in with an undefeated 8-0 record and will put that unblemished mark to the test on Saturday in Chapel Hill as they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels. Wake Forest has a very explosive, fast-paced and balanced offensive attack. Wake has averaged 180 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry in their last three games, along with 399 passing yards. Plus, during that span the Demon Deacons have had an equal number of pass and run plays, averaging 34 rush attempts and 34 pass attempts per game. It’s the type of balanced attack that can be difficult for opponents to stop and we have certainly seen that on full display this season as Wake has scored 35+ points in every game.
QB Sam Hartman has nearly 2,500 passing yards, a 65% completion rate and a phenomenal 22-3 TD-INT ratio this season. They have a terrific ground attack, led by Christian Beal-Smith, and a dynamic and potent passing game sparked by one of the best receivers in the ACC in Jaquarii Roberson. The Wake defense struggled last season but they have been better so far this season. It’s still not a shutdown defense by any stretch, but they have made a habit of getting timely and key stops while allowing their offense to take care of the rest.
North Carolina has had a very disappointing season. The Tar Heels certainly didn’t expect to be 4-4 entering this game before the season started. UNC's offense really hasn’t been bad. QB Sam Howell had a rough first game against Virginia Tech and the offense was bogged down in a loss to Georgia Tech, but the offense moved the football well enough in their other losses to Florida State and Notre Dame, it was the Tar Heels defense that let them down.
UNC has surrendered 25+ points in five of their last six games and the only game in which they didn’t was against a very weak and below-average Duke offense. This defense is not getting off the field on 3rd down and giving up big plays on the ground and through the air on a weekly basis. Now, they face a Wake offense that has been outstanding at generating big plays, and to me that spells trouble for North Carolina and their defense in this matchup.
North Carolina is favored in this game and this point spread is a ‘reputation vs. reality’ point spread. The reputation of North Carolina is that they’ve been an elite team the last couple of seasons. This year, they aren’t and I think this line is giving them too much credit and disrespecting Wake Forest too much.
Wake certainly hasn’t faced the same strength of schedule that North Carolina has, which might also lend some credence to why the Tar Heels are favored, but North Carolina’s psyche has to be in question after yet another disheartening loss to Notre Dame last week which sent them to 4-4.
I’m not trusting them or their reeling defense to bounce back here against a Wake Forest team that possesses an explosive and dynamic offense and will be coming in full of confidence. Wake Forest is 3-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams and I expect Wake Forest to get the victory here and remain undefeated. Wrong team favored. I also like the over in this game even at a very high total of 76. These teams combined for 112 points last season and Wake has gone over the total in five of their last six road games.