Notre Dame at North Carolina (9-24 @ 3:30 PM EST)
Line: North Carolina -2
Notre Dame finally won a game last week under head coach Marcus Freeman although they did everything in their power to try and lose it. Let’s face facts folks. It’s 4 games into Freeman’s reign as head coach and Notre Dame has been woefully unprepared in all those games. The only time it looked like they had a coherent game plan was the first half vs Ohio State, but they failed to make any adjustments and ultimately lost in the second half.
Now they travel to Chapel Hill to take on a UNC team that hasn’t stopped a soul all season long, even though they are somehow 3-0. They have allowed 113 points through 3 games, and this has come against Florida A&M, Appalachian State and Georgia State. Even though Notre Dame is not playing well this season, they are immensely better than those 3 teams.
Notre Dame has converted just 26.3% of their third downs this season (10 for 38) which is the 3rd worst percentage among power 5 schools. If they fail to convert 3rd downs against a poor UNC defense, then something is seriously wrong, and the Irish will be in for an extremely miserable season. UNC has the worst defense in the ACC so there will be opportunities for Notre Dame to control the clock with their running game and get some much-needed confidence going within their drives.
The Irish are going to have to score because while UNC’s defense is terrible, their offense is pretty damn good but again, remember, they haven’t played great opponents this season. That said, only 6 FBS teams have scored at least 150 points heading into week 4 and the Tar Heels are one of them. Also, Notre Dame is 1 of 4 teams that have not forced a turnover this season so that is something they are going to have to do in this game here.
This is a major step up in competition for North Carolina folks. Notre Dame isn’t a national power any longer (sorry Irish fans) but they are a much better football team than any of the 3 UNC has faced. We feel this will present problems for the Tar Heels. We believe the Notre Dame defense, which did limit Ohio State, will have success against this offense and the Notre Dame offensive unit, led by their ground game will do enough to get out of Chapel Hill with a victory. We are going to take the 2 points as insurance but expect a Notre Dame win. There is no value with the money line at +105 to +110 so the spread is the way to go
TakingVegas.com 1* Free Pick: Notre Dame +2 over UNC
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