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Notre Dame vs UNC Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 6 mins

Notre Dame vs UNC Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview

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It’s matchup of two men with the most wins among active coaches in college football: North Carolina's Mack Brown at 399, and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly at 378. They both face questions entering their game Saturday night in South Bend.

The Tar Heels long ago lost their preseason top-10 ranking, and suffered a pair of recent surprising losses: To Georgia Tech as a 14.5-point favorite, and to Florida State as a 17.5-point favorite. Notre Dame is 6-1, but will be without its best defensive player, safety Kyle Hamilton, who suffered a knee injury last week against USC.

The Irish are 3.5-point favorites against the Tar Heels, and as always, expect lots of college football betting interest for a prime-time showcase involving Notre Dame.

Odds are current as of publication. Betting sites may indicate odds changes closer to kickoff.

North Carolina vs Notre Dame Key Matchups

Notre Dame’s secondary vs. Sam Howell: With Hamilton out, senior free safety D.J. Brown steps into a secondary that’s very good at generating turnovers, and will be pivotal in stopping the Tar Heels’ passing attack.

Ty Chandler vs. Notre Dame’s front seven: The North Carolina RB rushed for a career-high 198 yards earlier this season against Virginia, and will be key in keeping UNC from becoming one-dimensional against a good Irish run defense.

UNC’s offensive line vs. Isaiah Foskey: The Notre Dame defensive lineman already has eight sacks, ranking him third nationally. If he can get to Howell, it won’t matter how short-handed the Irish are in the secondary.

5 Key North Carolina vs Notre Dame Stats

37: Number of consecutive games Notre Dame has won against unranked opponents.

9-1: Notre Dame’s record in its last 10 games against North Carolina, which includes a 31-17 victory in Chapel Hill last season.

5: Consecutive losses for North Carolina in night games away from Kenan Stadium, including the Orange Bowl last season.

+24: North Carolina’s scoring margin in the fourth quarter, a category in which the Tar Heels led the nation in both 2020 and 2019.

471.1: North Carolina’s average total offense per game, a number that ranks No. 4 in the ACC.

North Carolina vs Notre Dame Weather Forecast

Early forecasts for Saturday in South Bend indicate a clear and cool night with temperatures in the low 50s around kickoff and very little chance of rain. Rain is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, though, so those making college football picks here might want to ensure that front moves through as scheduled.

North Carolina vs Notre Dame Moneyline

Notre Dame is a -185 moneyline favorite, according to sportsbooks, while North Carolina is a +150 underdog. The Tar Heels have become downright puzzling, given their losses to Georgia Tech and Florida State over the past month.

They needed a defensive stand in the final minute to avoid losing two weeks ago to Miami. QB Sam Howell has been uneven, and the defense is allowing nearly 7 yards per play. Notre Dame, for all its issues, still wins the games it’s supposed to win. Chalk up another Saturday night, and pass on these college football odds.

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North Carolina vs Notre Dame Point Spread

The Fighting Irish are 3.5-point favorites, according to betting sites. While this isn’t the elite Notre Dame team of last year - the quarterback position is unsettled, and the defensive line was pushed around in the loss to Cincinnati - the Irish remain consistent overall and against the spread, where they’ve covered four of their last five.

North Carolina has covered just once in that span, that a bashing of Duke. From a betting standpoint, the Tar Heels are just tough to trust right now. Despite its faults, Notre Dame should cover yet again. You can get Notre Dame -3.5 (-105) at DraftKings.

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North Carolina vs Notre Dame Totals

The total is 62.5, according to betting apps. For all its offensive prowess, North Carolina has gone over just once in its last three games, that in the near-miss against Miami. The Irish have gone under in three of their last five.

Notre Dame’s defense has allowed 16 points or fewer to three of its last five opponents, held Cincinnati to 24 in its lone loss, and has the No. 21 pass defense in the nation. Even without Hamilton, it is capable of controlling tempo. The Irish are good at grinding out low-scoring victories, which makes the under the natural bet here. You can get Under 62.5 (-110) at FanDuel.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.