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North Carolina vs. South Carolina prediction and pick for Thursday's Duke's Mayo Bowl. Handicapper Matt McCuen breaks down the game and gives out his pick. There is no better way to get started with your sports gambling than with a little morning bowl game action.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

North Carolina Tarheels vs. South Carolina Gamecocks - Duke's Mayo Bowl

Spread: North Carolina -12

Total: 57.5

Date: Thursday, December 30

Game Time: 11:30 a.m. ET

Where To Watch: ESPN

North Carolina vs. South Carolina odds

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North Carolina vs. South Carolina Prediction

A pair of 6-6 teams meet in the Duke's Mayo Bowl on Thursday morning as the North Carolina Tarheels and the South Carolina Gamecocks play their season's final game.

These teams come into this game playing to identical records, and one is guaranteed to walk away with a winning season. The Tarheels came into this season with higher expectations than the results they had, led by gunslinger Same Howell at the quarterback position. Howell had himself a near 3,000-yard season through the air, but the Tarheels just could not turn the corner this year.

The issue once again this season for North Carolina was their defense. The Tarheels allowed 31.6 points per game despite scoring 36.4 themselves.

The Gamecocks came into this season with fairly low expectations and will be happy to be in a bowl game. South Carolina made headlines a few weeks ago when star transfer QB Spencer Rattler announced he is heading there next season. This is a different style team compared to North Carolina, as South Carolina will often run the ball. Zaquandre White has been the best back for them this season, rushing for nearly 600 yards overall. This is a good South Carolina defense that allows just 24.3 points per game.

I am backing the dog in this game today, getting the 12 points.

I think getting this many points in a bowl game is a gift, and I don't trust this UNC defense to lay that big number. This South Carolina defense is an SEC defense, at the end of the day, and this is a rivalry game where I expect South Carolina to be the more motivated team, given the circumstances.

I believe they will be able to slow down this fast-paced North Carolina offense and create a few turnovers as this game goes along. In this game, the Gamecocks will have to be able to control the pace and keep this offense of North Carolina's on the sidelines. The run game will be pivotal for the Cocks, and I give their line an advantage against the front of North Carolina.

This South Carolina team is better than their record indicates as they had a more difficult schedule than the Tarheels, playing in the SEC. I do not think the Cocks have an elite defense, but this defense will be better than many defenses that the Heels faced during the regular season.

My rule in games like this is to ride the dog. Simply too many points for a defense like North Carolina, who you can not trust to cover a large number like this morning. I do believe they have a chance to win this game outright, and I will gladly ride with the big dog in this spot. I would sprinkle a little bit on the money line, but let's lock in on the spread on the big dog and cash in another bet today.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina Pick

  • Pick: South Carolina +12 -115

Article Author

ROI 17.8%

Matt McCuen is a native of Delco, PA. He has been working in the sports gambling industry and creating content for the last few years. He is an expert in numerous different sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @DeadPresPicks.


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