Week 12 of the 2012 college football season features a Thursday night (7:30pm ET) ACC matchup with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (6-4) traveling to Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, VA to take on the host Virginia Cavaliers (4-6). North Carolina is 5-5 ATS this season, but has failed to cover in three of their last four games including a 68-50 loss at home to Georgia Tech last week as a 7.5 point favorite. Virginia is 1-8-1 ATS this season, and defeated Miami 41-40 at home last week, but failed to cover a 2 point spread.
The North Carolina offense ranks 10th among FBS teams in scoring offense with an average of 40.5 points per game and 15th in total offense with 488.7 yards per game. Running back Giovanni Bernard (1,088 yards rushing, 15 TDs) is an explosive player who is a threat both on offense and special teams. The Tar Heel defense ranks 56th among FBS teams in scoring defense with 25.7 PPG allowed and 62nd in total defense with 392.1 YPG allowed.
Virginia has struggled to find their rhythm offensively with quarterbacks Michael Rocco (1,585 yards passing, 12 TDs, 8 INTs), Phillip Sims (1,203 yards passing, 8 TDs, 4 INTs) and the team continuing to struggle with turnovers. They looked better last week against a porous Miami defense, but currently rank 90th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 24.6 PPG and 48th in total offense with 419.1 YPG. The Cavaliers rank 76th in the country in scoring defense with 29.3 PPG allowed, but a respectable 33rd in total defense with 349.1 YPG allowed.
North Carolina vs. Virginia Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
North Carolina Tar Heels -3
@ Virginia Cavaliers +3
Over 61.5 (-110)
Under 61.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
North Carolina vs. Virginia Pick:
North Carolina has a 4-1 record ATS in their last 5 Thursday games, they are 205 ATS in their last 7 November games and are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. Virginia is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 ACC games, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against winning teams and 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. The over is 5-1 in UNC’s last 6 games overall, 5-1 in their last 6 games on grass and 4-1 in their last 5 ACC games. The under is 9-3 in UVA’s last 12 home games, 15-6 in their last 21 games on grass and 41-20-3 in their last 64 ACC games. In head-to-head play, the under is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings between the two teams, UNC is 3-11 ATS in their last 14 meetings and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 meetings in Charlottesville.
The Tar Heels have handily defeated Virginia in each of the past two years, a 28-17 win at home last season and a 44-10 shellacking at Virginia in 2010. Virginia has a horrible record ATS this season, and that does not figure to improve against a North Carolina team that features a very explosive offense and a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate in Bernard. Virginia’s combination of a below average defense and an inconsistent offense does not match up well with the Tar Heels strength as a big-play offense. The UNC defense is average, but they should be able to hold down Virginia and cover the spread on the road. Take UNC in this game.
PICK = North Carolina -3