Oskeim Sports’ NCAA Football Betting Preview: Wake Forest at UNC

Oct 16, 2015


Wake Forest is coming off a bizarre 3-0 win over Boston College wherein the Demon Deacons managed only 142 total yards and five first downs. That win is significant in that college football teams off a win in which they scored six points or less are a money-burning 8-28 ATS in their next game, including 1-13 ATS as an underdog. Let’s also note that Wake Forest is just 1-12 SU and 4-9 ATS following a win over the last three years and 3-10 SU and 1-12 ATS in the second of back-to-back road games.

Wake Forest arrives in town with an anemic offense that is averaging 19.7 points per game and 370 total yards at 5.1 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.7 yards per play. The Demon Deacons are also 1-2 ATS on the road this season where they are averaging just 12.3 points per game and 302 total yards at 4.6 yards per play and 24.5 yards per point.

Overall, Wake Forest is 0.7 yards per play worse than average offensively in 2015, which gives the Tar Heels a significant 0.9 yards per play advantage on the defensive side of the ball.

North Carolina Defense vs. Wake Forest Offense:

  • +0.3 yards per rush play advantage
  • +1.9 yards per pass play advantage
  • +0.9 yards per play advantage overall from the line of scrimmage

As you can see from there above analysis, Wake Forest has no chance of throwing the ball successfully against an outstanding Tar Heel secondary. The Demon Deacons will also struggle to move the chains on the ground, which is another reason why this game has blowout written all over it.

North Carolina is fresh off a bye and defeated Georgia Tech 38-31 on the road the prior to last as six-point underdogs. In fact after losing their season-opener to South Carolina, the Tar Heels have reeled off four straight wins, covering the point spread in three of those.

The Tar Heels’ offense is averaging 38.6 points per game and 471 total yards at 7.3 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow just 6.3 yards per play. The Tar Heels are also a perfect 3-0 at home where they are garnering an incredible 501 yards per game at 10.6 yards per point.

North Carolina’s potent offense will be challenged by a stout Wake Forest stop unit that has been 0.6 yards per play better than average (4.8 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yards per play). But, the Deacons’ defense has been exploited by Syracuse (30 points) and Indiana (31 points) so it’s not hard to imagine a scenario under which the Tar Heels eclipse both of those outputs Saturday night. North Carolina’s big advantage is through the air against a decent Wake Forest secondary that is 0.2 yards per pass play better than average.

Wake Forest will struggle to contain an explosive Tar Heel aerial attack that is averaging 281 yards at 9.8 yards per pass play at home and 251 yards at 8.8 yards per pass play overall in 2015. North Carolina’s advantages on offense over the Deacons’ stop unit are significant: +0.5 yards per rush play and 0.6 yards per pass play.

Let’s end with a few technical trends that further enhance our investment on the Tar Heels: Wake Forest is 5-12 ATS in its last seventeen games off a win, 7-17 ATS in its last 24 road games versus .501 or greater opposition and 1-5 ATS in its last six away games, whereas the Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in their last four October games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven conference affairs.

With eighteen returning starters and one of the conference’s best offenses, the Tar Heels are one of the most improved (and dangerous) teams in college football. Lay the points with the Tar Heels as Oskeim Sports’ free pick!

Oskeim Sports’ Free NCAA Football Pick: North Carolina