The North Carolina Tar Heels stay in the state of North Carolina this week, as they head to Wake Forest for a meeting with the Demon Deacons. North Carolina and Wake Forest took care of business in Week 1 and 2. The Tar Heels had the stiffer competition, as they downed South Carolina and Miami.
They won as underdogs in both instances, with a 24-20 win over the Gamecocks and a 28-25 win over the Hurricanes last week. The game came down to 4th and 17 for North Carolina and they converted to continue a late drive. It ultimately resulted in a touchdown and a win for North Carolina.
Wake Forest were in Texas for a Friday night battle with Rice last week. It was a snoozer against an inferior opponent. The Deacons dispatched the Owls by a score of 41-21 to cover the spread. I think it could have been a larger win for Wake Forest, but they didn’t show their whole offense and went through the motions in the second-half. The game was put away and Rice was down to their backup quarterback, a transfer from Harvard. In Week 1, they won a close contest against a pesky Utah State team, 38-35.
So, the door is wide open for the Tar Heels in the ACC Coastal division. I would like to say the same thing about Wake Forest, as they’re a very underrated club, but they have to deal with Clemson in the ACC Atlantic. Despite likely finishing with a solid record and something to be proud of, they’re not going to be able to top Clemson.
That isn’t a knock on Wake Forest, because there may be no team who beat Clemson this season. The Demon Deacons have one of the best quarterbacks in the conference who no one knows about. Jamie Newman is capable of putting together a stellar campaign in his fourth season and his second as a starting quarter.
He is already 3 passing touchdowns away from matching his high of 9 from last year. We’ll what he does at home against his toughest opponent yet in 2019. Head below for our free North Carolina vs. Wake Forest pick in Week 3 of college football.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons NCAAF Week 3 Betting Odds:
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North Carolina vs. Wake Forest Pick:
Jamie Newman has been off to a fast start for Wake Forest in 2019. He took over last season and showcased an ability to pick up yards with his arm and legs. Newman finished with 9 touchdown passes with 4 interceptions, along with 247 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns on the ground. That put some lofty expectations on him this year. There were expectations on Newman to have a breakout campaign in 2019.
Newman has come out firing with 6 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He’s also rushed for 65 yards and an additional touchdown rushing. It can’t get much better than that for him. He’s been demonstrating exceptional decision making and has been putting together some solid drives for the Demon Deacons. We’re going to see what happens with better competition Friday night, though. What Newman has on the Tar Heels here is that he’s had an extra day to get healthy and prepare.
Wake Forest have had a full week off, while North Carolina enter on a short week. Not only that, Wake Forest had to deal with Rice last week. Conversely, North Carolina were playing a physical Miami team that must have taken something out of them. The way they won and upset the Hurricanes has the potential to lead to a letdown spot against Wake Forest in this one. North Carolina have won as underdogs in Week 1 and 2. Are they going to take Wake Forest as seriously as they should Friday night?
The Tar Heels were outgained by 96 yards last week against Miami. They don’t come up with that 4th and 17 and we’re not talking about a North Carolina win. Credit freshman Sam Howell for standing in there and leading the Tar Heels well thus far. Howell passed for 2 touchdowns in each game and is likely going to put some stress on the Wake Forest defense.
However, I could see some of his inexperience coming into play here. The public is on the Tar Heels, yet the line keeps moving in the opposite direction. Wake Forest are better than advertised, and I think they catch North Carolina in a letdown spot here after downing the Hurricanes in a crazy ending. The Tar Heels are still thinking about their win over Miami. Jamie Newman is a tricky QB to prepare for, and on a short week, seeing it being too much on the road. Consider going with the Demon Deacons at home to cover the spread Friday night.