This Friday the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0) will play host the North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0). Kickoff is set for 6:00 EST at BB&T Field and will be televised on ESPN.
While these are two teams that both play in the ACC, this is not a conference game. These two teams decided to play in non-conference because of how little they have played since the ACC split the two into two different divisions back in 2005.
Oddsmakers opened up this line with the Demon Deacons as a 3.5-point favorite, but early money on the Tar Heels has driven the number down to 3. The total for this contest is 64.5 points.
Click on the link for a full look at the Week 3 CFB odds and for more links to our game previews.
Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds: North Carolina vs Wake Forest
North Carolina Tar Heels
It’s been a dream start for North Carolina under first year head coach (second stint with program) Mack Brown. Coming off a 2-9 campaign, not much was expected of this team, but as of right now the Tar Heels must be considered a legit threat in the ACC Coastal.
One week after overcoming a double-digit 4th quarter deficit in a 24-20 win over South Carolina, UNC knocked off Coastal rival Miami 28-25. This time the Tar Heels scored the game-winning touchdown with a minute left to play.
North Carolina won both games outright as an underdog. They were a 11.5-point dog in their neutral site matchup with the Gamecocks and a 4-point home dog to the Hurricanes.
The talk of town has to be true freshman quarterback Sam Howell, who has completed 64.6% of his attempts for 519 yards with a 4-0 TD-INT ratio.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Demon Deacons enter off a 41-21 win and cover at Rice as a 20-point favorite. That game was on Friday, so Wake Forest will have an extra day of prep over the Tar Heels.
After needing a last second touchdown to escape with a 38-35 win over Utah State in Week 1, the Demon Deacons made easy work of the Owls in Week 2.
Wake Forest has got big time production out of their signal caller as well. Junior QB Jamie Newman threw for 401 yards and 3 scores against the Aggies and 312 yards and 3 scores against Rice. He’s also rushed for 65 yards and a score.
I mentioned these two haven’t played a lot. Most recent meeting was in 2015, which the Tar Heels won 50-14 as a 17-point favorite. That was just the 5th meeting since the division split up in 2005. Series is tied 5-5 over their last 10 and the home team has won and covered in 4 straight.
Free NCAA Football Pick & Predictions: Wake Forest -3
My early lean here would be to lay the field goal with Wake Forest at home. The betting public is all over the Tar Heels in this one, which only makes the Demon Deacons more.
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I was really big on Wake Forest coming into this season and I’ve liked what I’ve seen, especially from the offense. The defense still needs some work, but they should definitely get a boost from what figures to a rowdy home crowd.
Another thing here is this will be the first true road game for Howell and he’s going to have to handle the noise without senior starting center Nick Polino. I think that along with the spotlight of playing a weekday game on ESPN and we see a little bit of the true freshmen mistakes come out.
That wasn’t the only big injury suffered for UNC. The Tar Heels lost starting corner Patrice Rene. That really makes it tough on the UNC secondary against Wake’s trio of Scotty Washington, Sage Surratt and Kendall Hinton. Those 3 all have 10+ catches for 100+ yards and have caught a combined 6 TD passes.
I also think you can’t overlook the edge Wake Forest has not only with an extra day of rest, but also the fact that they had a much easier game last week. Give me the Demon Deacons -3.