North Carolina Football Predictions

The North Carolina Tar Heels looked like they were headed for a disastrous finish to 2013 after a 4-game losing streak left them sitting at 1-5 to start to the year. The Tar Heels surprising rolled of 5 straight wins and would end the regular season at 6-6. They their sixth straight winning season with a 39-17 blowout win over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl.

Big things are expected out of North Carolina heading into the 3rd year under head coach Larry Fedora. The Tar Heels welcome back 15 starters (8 offense, 7 defense) and are excited about the potential of junior quarterback Marquise Williams, who started six games and played a crucial role in their late season surge. Not only was Williams a capable passer (15 TDs), he led the team in rushing with 536 yards and 6 scores.

Last Season
ACC (Coastal)
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
2014 North Carolina Tar Heels Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/30 Liberty
9/6 San Diego State
9/20 @ East Carolina
9/27 @ Clemson
10/4 Virginia Tech
10/11 @ Notre Dame
10/18 Georgia Tech
10/25 @ Virginia
11/1 @ Miami
11/15 Pittsburgh
11/20 @ Duke
11/29 NC State
Estimated Wins: 8.98

While the Tar Heels are excited about the talent they have coming back, they do have some key pieces to replace from last year. North Carolina had 5 players taken in the NFL Draft and likely would have had 6 if left tackle James Hurst hadn’t suffered a broken leg in their bowl game (later signed with Ravens as undrafted free agent). The most notable losses will be tight end Eric Ebron (1st round pick, #10 overall), defensive end Kareem Martin (3rd round pick), strong safety Tre Boston (4th round pick) and center Russell Bodine (4th round pick).

Ebron was without a doubt the best player on the roster last year, but my biggest concerns come with losses at left tackle and center on the offensive line and the departure of their best defensive lineman in Martin. The good news is that North Carolina has continued to recruit well. They had the 29th ranked recruiting class of 2014, which is right on par with their 3-year ranking. Two players who could make an immediate impact as true freshman are running back Elijah Hood, who was considered a Top 10 recruit at his position and left tackle Bentley Spain, who is expected to start right away.

The promising sign for North Carolina is that the schedule sets up nicely for them to win the Coastal. While the Tar Heels have to go on the road to face Clemson, they avoid having to play Florida State out of the Atlantic. They also get what I consider to be their biggest competition in the Coastal in Virginia Tech at home. They do have to go on the road to face Miami, but figure to be favored in their remaining conference games. As far as the non-conference portion of the schedule is concerned, North Carolina has a couple of easy home games against Liberty and San Diego State, a winnable game at East Carolina and a challenging road game at Notre Dame.

Regular Season Win Total
ACC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
12 to 1
110 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

Due to the fact that North Carolina got off to such a poor start last year, I don’t think this team is getting the respect it deserves heading into 2014. Oddsmakers have listed the Tar Heels season win total at 8.5, I think this team is capable of exceeding that without much problem. There’s not a game on the schedule where North Carolina figures to be outclassed, which is evident by the fact they are projected to be favored in all but 3 games and never more than a 4-point dog.

I have the Tar Heels going 7-1 in conference play and 3-1 outside the conference to finish up at 10-2, which I believe is going to have them winning the Coastal ahead of the likes of Miami, Virgina Tech, Georgia Tech and Duke. Needless to say I think there’s a lot of value with the Tar Heels OVER 8.5 on their season win total.

I look for North Carolina to be a great team to back in 2014, as this team really has the potential to take their game to whole new level in 2014. Not to mention the 3rd year is typically when a head coach really makes his impact felt at a program. However, the books will be quick to adjust if the Tar Heels get off to a strong start and a lot of the value will be lost.

2014 Projections
ACC (Coastal)
ACC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
OVER 8.5



UNDER 8 Wins – North Carolina has many of their key players back this year and while they might be better, this number is set a full two games higher than their win total last year. The Heels finished 6-7 a year ago and we think their chances of winning seven or less this year are much greater than their chances of winning nine or more. Let’s look at their wins last year. They beat Liberty & Duke badly. Their other four wins came by 4, 5, 1, & 5 points. Their losses, on the other hand, came by 29, 15, 17, 7, 27, and 28 points. Obviously their losses were big and their wins were tight. The Heels defense was horrendous giving up just under 500 YPG and almost 40 PPG. They gave up 47 points or more in four games last year, including 71 to East Carolina. They’ve hired a new DC (Chizik) to try and help but it won’t get done in one year. Head coach Larry Fedora has gotten worse head year going from 8 to 7 to 6 wins in his three seasons here. Their ACC road games are fairly tough and we don’t see a huge improvement.

More College Football Predictions
Boston College Clemson Florida State Louisville
NC State Syracuse Wake Forest
Duke Georgia Tech Miami North Carolina
Pittsburgh Virginia Virginia Tech
ACC Big 12 American Athletic Big Ten
Conference USA Independents MAC Mountain West
Pac-12 SEC Sun Belt

More College Football