- North Carolina (6-5) faces NC State (8-3) in Raleigh on Friday at 7:00pm EST on ESPN
- Projected top 10 NFL pick QB Sam Howell is expected to return after missing UNC’s last game due to an upper body injury
- Below are the odds and team breakdowns to help showcase the best value bet on the board
It’s rivalry week in college football and fans down in Raleigh, North Carolina are set for a treat under the lights on Friday night.
The #20 NC State Wolfpack are 6.5 point home favorites over the rival North Carolina Tar Heels. All rivalry games are exciting but there’s a little extra on the line in this one. Let’s take a deep dive into both programs to shine a spotlight on the best value bet on the board.
North Carolina vs NC State Odds
|North Carolina||+6.5 (-110)||+198||O 62.5 (-108)|
|NC State||-6.5 (-112)||-250||U 62.5 (-112)|
Odds as of November 24th at FanDuel
Wolfpack Take Aim at ACC Championship Game
NC State enters this game with an 8-3 record and a still has a chance to represent the Atlantic division in the ACC championship game. The Wolfpack need a victory paired with a Wake Forest loss to earn a birth which could certainly happen. First things first, of course, NC State needs to take care of business in this rivalry game.
Quarterback Devin Leary has proven to be much more than a game manager this season. He has completed 65.8% of his passes for 3,186 passing yards and 31 touchdowns. Those are eye popping numbers when you consider he’s only turned the ball over five times. There are a number of offensive weapons helping Leary compile those stats but keep an eye on running back Ricky Person in this game. He has 573 rushing yards and leads NC State with five rushing touchdowns.
To go with his yards on the ground, Person has also racked up 27 receptions, 240 receiving yards and two touchdowns through the air.
— NC State Football (@PackFootball) November 23, 2021
As impressive as the offense has been, the back bone of the Wolfpack team is their top 20 defense. No player has been more impressive on the unit than linebacker Drake Thomas who leads the team with 80 tackles and six sacks. Facing a top NFL prospect in Sam Howell will likely result in NC State bringing pressure early and often, so it could be a big day for Thomas.
Sam Howell Questionable for UNC
Star quarterback Sam Howell missed UNC’s last game against Wofford with what was described as an upper body injury. Most, including the oddsmakers, expect him to play in this game which is great news for Tar Heels fans. Pro Football Focus has Howell projected to be a top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, so he is certainly a player capable of keeping his team close in a tough game.
🚨 MOCK DRAFT MONDAY 🚨
2. Jets: Derek Stingley, LSU CB
7. Giants: Nakobe Dean, UGA LB
10. Washington: Sam Howell, UNC QBhttps://t.co/oASClUfF88
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 22, 2021
Howell has 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions this year which is actually a dip in production. He racked up 68 touchdown passes between 2019 and 2020, which could have scouts wondering about the decline. This game provides Howell one last opportunity to impress talent evaluators before taking his game to the next level.
UNC faced a soft schedule early in the year but nobody can accuse them of that as of late. This will mark the fourth straight game against a ranked opponent. The previous three the Tar Heels came away with a 1-2 record.
Trust NC State to Cover the Spread
NC State is a perfect 6-0 at home and should have no trouble adding another notch in the win column on Friday night. The reality is this game means a lot more to them than it does UNC. While some Tar Heels like Howell are out to impress NFL scouts, the writing is on the wall when it comes to their college season. With hopes of reaching the conference title game, the Wolf Pack will come out and get the job done.
The Pick: NC State -6.5 (-112)