North Carolina vs. ODU, 9-16-2017 - Prediction & Preview
Written by: Brian Spaen
North Carolina Tar Heels (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
vs Old Dominion Monarchs (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
When: Saturday, Sep 16th, 3:30 PM ET
Line: UNC -7.5
TV/Live Stream: Stadium (Free)
North Carolina will try to get their first win of the season on the road after an unsuccessful opening at home this season. Old Dominion will host their next contest at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Virginia, and they haven’t lost a contest yet this season. They’ve taken down Albany and Massachusetts in their first two games of the year.
North Carolina still looking for a win
The Tar Heels may be 0-2, but their season has been pretty tough to start. They hosted California on opening weekend and dropped a high-scoring 35-30 affair. They had some leads against then 17th-ranked Louisville, but then the better opponent eventually pulled away at the end. The team has now lost four in a row dating back to last season, with losses to their in-state rival, North Carolina State, and losing a close battle to Stanford in their bowl game. It’s been a rough patch for the Tar Heels, but their easiest game of the season is probably in this game.
Last weekend, the defense simply had no answer for quarterback Lamar Jackson. They gave up over 700 yards and 47 points to Louisville, not really giving their offense a chance. The offense was adequate in the passing game, but only scrounged up 17 yards on the ground. Two quarterbacks had a good day for the Tar Heels — Chazz Surratt had the more efficient day completing 12-of-14 passes for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns. Part of the team’s problem is having a few running backs injured. Auburn transfer Stanton Truitt has been out for the first two games with an undisclosed injury and he’s day-to-day.
LaRussa struggles passing the ball, but get past UMass
The Monarchs pulled out a low-scoring affair on the road against UMass last weekend. Both teams had well over 300 yards of offense, and Old Dominion had the advantage on the ground. Running back Jeremy Cox led the team with 97 yards on 25 carries. Quarterback Jordan Hoy recorded 43 yards on 9 carries and had a touchdown. He wasn’t the starting QB, but the sophomore came in later to score the game-winning TD. Blake LaRussa was the starter, and he was extremely mediocre passing the ball. He completed 10-of-22 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, but he didn’t throw a pick.
Wide receiver Jonathan Duhart was the benefactor of the touchdown, catching it on a quick two-yard pass. His other reception of the night was a 22-yard catch. Travis Fulgham led the team with four catches for 81 yards. Cox also supplemented the passing game with 32 yards on two catches. A few defenders missed the last contest — defensive back Kane Miskel and defensive tackle Ryan Londree. They’re day-to-day with knee and ankle injuries, respectively.
North Carolina is:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against C-USA
- 7-2 AS in their last 9 road games against teams with a winning home record
Old Dominion is:
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games in September
- 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games on field turf
Honestly, getting North Carolina for a touchdown is a real sale here. They’re underrated after an upset loss to California at home, and they should finally end their four-game losing skid in Virginia this weekend.
Pick: UNC -7.5
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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