Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Pick – NCAAF Week 5

The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels have a rivalry game in Chapel Hill to attend to on Saturday afternoon. Duke is looking for an upset, while North Carolina is attempting to avoid getting upset again.

The Tar Heels are coming off a 45-22 loss against Georgia Tech. Is North Carolina that much of a fraud or is Georgia Tech actually pretty good after nearly knocking off Clemson, and then beating the Tar Heels comfortably?

It could be both, but the ACC is completely wide open right now. Clemson is beatable, nor has UNC lived up to expectations, so this could be the most interesting ACC race in a long time.

Despite a 2-2 start, with losses against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, North Carolina still has life in the ACC title race. Clemson struggling only benefits them and the rest of the conference.

There is some confidence in Clemson turning the season around and winning the ACC. They can certainly win the conference, they’re the favorite still, but the Tigers aren’t a College Football Playoff team.

North Carolina needs to find a lick of defense before I’m confident in North Carolina doing something in the ACC. They’ve severely underperformed in what was supposed to be a better season for the defense.

The Blue Devils will have their toughest challenge in Chapel Hill. They’re 3-1 with an ugly 31-28 loss to open the year against Charlotte. Duke responded though they have only played NC A&T, Northwestern, and Kansas.

Their 30-23 win over Northwestern two weeks back is their best win. I’m not sure what to make of a 52-33 win over Kansas other than the Duke defense has to be better in Chapel Hill. head below for our free Duke vs. North Carolina pick on October 2, 2021.

Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Live Odds and Betting History:

The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Duke +19.5 (-107) +700 Over 72.5 (-110)
UNC -19.5 (-113) -1100 Under 72.5 (-110)
Team Data Duke UNC
Overall Record 3-1 2-2
ATS Record 3-1-0 2-2-0
Away/Home Record 0-1 2-0
ATS Away/Home 0-1-0 2-0-0
Points Per Game 38.8 37.5
Points Against Per Game 26 29.5
Passing Yards Per Game 297.3 306.8
Rushing Yards Per Game 251 200.5

Duke vs. North Carolina Prediction:

North Carolina should be able to move the ball with ease in this one. I’m not confident in the Duke secondary neutralizing Sam Howell. Howell and the UNC offense went wild on Virginia for 59 points two weeks ago. It might be tough to hit 59 points, but I could see another efficient offensive performance like that.

It was the second straight week that the Tar Heels scored 59 points, as they did it the week before against Georgia State. Doing it against Virginia was a little more impressive. Howell passed for 307 yards with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. Ty Chandler had a big day on the ground with 198 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9.9 yards per carry.

Howell is 19th in the FBS with 306.8 passing yards per game. Conversely, the Duke secondary is 89th in the country with 240.8 passing yards allowed per game. Look at who Duke has played as well. None of those teams are on the level of UNC’s vertical game. Josh Downs and Howell are doing damage together against the Duke defense.

The Tar Heels throttled Duke for 56 points in a 56-24 win last year. Reaching around 50 points, especially a team that has to be feeling mad about what happened last week seems reasonable. Duke is going to have to play keep up with Gunnar Homlberg and Mataeo Durant. The UNC defense has been vulnerable, so it could work.

Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Trends:


  • 1-9 overall in their previous ten games on the road
  • 0-5 ATS in their previous five games versus the ACC
  • 1-6 ATS in their previous seven games as an underdog on the road
  • OVER is 7-1 in their previous eight games after a win
  • OVER is 6-2 in their previous eight games versus the ACC


  • 4-1 ATS in their previous five games after a loss
  • 7-2 ATS in their previous nine games as a favorite at UNC
  • OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games as a favorite at UNC
  • OVER is 7-2 in their previous nine ACC games
  • OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games

The Tar Heels’ defense has not impressed me this season. If you just look at the 17-10 final against Virginia Tech you’d think they did a good job. In my view that wasn’t a quality performance. Virginia Tech controlled the ball for what felt like the entire game. The defense couldn’t get off the field.

Brennan Armstrong passed for 554 yards with 4 touchdowns on the UNC secondary two weeks ago. The following week, the Heels’ defense allowed Jeff Sims to run all over them for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns. Expect Duke to find room to run on the ground in this contest. They are 11th in the FBS with over 250 yards rushing per game.

Mataeo Durant has gained 522 yards yards and 8 touchdowns on 6 yards per carry. He and quarterback Gunnar Holmberg have both done well on the ground together. Holmberg is going into Week 5 with 158 yards and 6 touchdowns. Both offenses should be able to move in this one. I was thinking a total of 76 points or thereabout, so the current number is a good bargain.


Duke vs. North Carolina Pick
OVER 72.5