Duke at North Carolina: 10/2/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

Duke at North Carolina: 10/2/21 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina Tar Heels (2-2) vs Duke Blue Devils (3-1)

Game Info: Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 12:00 pm (Kenan Memorial Stadium)

Betting Odds: North Carolina Tar Heels -20 -- Over/Under: 72.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Duke Blue Devils will travel to Kenan Stadium to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.

The Duke Blue Devils won their 3rd straight game and improved to 3-1 on the season after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks, 52-33, this past Saturday. Duke had no trouble piling up the offense against the Kansas defense in this one and pulled away after a 3-yard TD run by Gunnar Holmberg gave the Blue Devils a 42-27 lead with 4:38 left in the 3rd quarter. Duke outgained Kansas by a 607-530 margin and forced 2 Jayhawks turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Blue Devils was QB Gunnar Holmberg who completed 22 of 29 passes for 328 yards, 1 TD, & 1 INT, while also adding 88 rushing yards & 4 TD’s on the ground.

On the season, Duke is averaging 38.8 ppg on 544.5 total yards per game (297.3 passing yds/g; 247.3 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Duke has been led by RB Mataeo Durant who is averaging 131.3 rushing yds/g and has 8 rushing TD’s on the season. Durant is although a threat in the passing game out of the backfield as he has 11 receptions for 179 yards & 1 TD. QB Gunnar Holmberg has completed 72.1% of his passes for 1140 yards, 3 TD, & 2 INT while also rushing for 159 yards & 6 TD’s. The top receiving threats for the Blue Devils have been Jake Bobo (34 rec, 365 yards) & Jalon Calhoun (19 rec, 222 yards, TD).

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Defensively, Duke is allowing their opponents to average 26.0 ppg on 422.3 total yards per game (240.8 passing yds/g; 181.5 rushing yds/g).

The North Carolina Tar Heels had their 2-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 2-2 on the season after being defeated by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 45-22, this past Saturday. North Carolina had no answers for the Georgia Tech rushing attack and could not fight back after a 27-yard TD reception by the Yellow Jackets Malachi Carter gave Georgia Tech a 35-14 lead early in the 3rd quarter.  North Carolina was outgained by Georgia Tech by a 369-364 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 3-0 margin in the loss. Leading the way for the Tar Heels was QB Sam Howell who completed 25 of 39 passes for 306 yards & 2 TD’s.

On the season, North Carolina is averaging 37.5 ppg on 507.3 total yards per game (306.8 passing yds/g; 200.5 rushing yds/g). Offensively, North Carolina has been led by QB Sam Howell who has completed 63.6% of his passes for 1173 yards, 11 TD, & 4 INT. Howell is also the 2nd leading rusher for the Tar Heels as he had 259 rushing yards & 3 TD’s on 55 carries. The top receiving threats for Howell and the Tar Heels have been Josh Downs (32 rec, 452 yards, 5 TD), Emery Simmons (9 rec, 229 yards, TD), Antoine Green (8 rec, 198 yards, TD), & Kamari Morales (12 rec, 111 yards, 2 TD).  Leading the way for the North Carolina backfield has been Ty Chandler who has 370 rushing yards & 3 TD’s on 62 carries.

Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 29.5 ppg on 384.5 total yards per game (236.3 passing yds/g; 148.3 rushing yds/g).

The Blue Devils are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games. The Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss, however, are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

North Carolina has been disappointing so far this season, however, this is still a team that has one of the better QB’s in all of College Football in Sam Howell and certainly can put up plenty of points as the Tar Heels rank 29th in scoring offense. Duke has won three in a row, however, the Blue Devils haven’t played the toughest of competition and this is still the same team that lost to Charlotte in their only road game of the season. This is a bunch of points to cover, however, as I don’t think North Carolina will have any issues be motivated for a big win against Duke, I think the Tar Heels hang 45+ points on the Blue Devils and do enough to cover this large spread. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick North Carolina Tar Heels -20

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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