North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech kicks off this Saturday at 8 pm EST in Atlanta as a home game for the Yellow Jackets. North Carolina is currently a -11.5 favorite and -410 on the moneyline while the total is set at 63.5. Read on for more North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech best bets and predictions as North Carolina is poised for a bounce back win while covering the spread.
North Carolina Vs. Georgia Tech Prediction & Best Bet
Just when the Tar Heels were starting to gain traction as a potential playoff contender, UNC decided to lay an egg against the worst team in the conference. Closing at -23.5 against the Virginia Cavaliers, North Carolina blew a late lead and have seen their playoff hopes vanish. Not all hope is lost for North Carolina as it still control its own destiny for the ACC Conference Championship by winning out against a relatively easy schedule.
That starts with a date against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, an underwhelming ACC foe who has seen some moderate success in comparison to their preseason expectations. Originally pegged as one of the worst units with the likes of Virginia, Georgia Tech has nearly eclipsed its regular season win total off the backs of an improved offense. Especially from its pass attack, currently ranking 38th in Pass PPA, 54th in Pass Success Rate and 11th in Pass Explosiveness.
Lucky for the Tar Heels, the Yellow Jackets offense is one dimensional by only succeeding through the air. That gives their defense a sigh of relief as UNC excels at limiting the pass attack in comparison to its struggling rush defense. The splits are eye opening between the two defensive fields, ranking 29th in Def Pass PPA and 37th in Def Pass Success Rate while their rush metrics dip to 93rd in Def Rush PPA and 87th in Def Rush Success Rate.
It’s not exactly settling to envision the UNC defense bouncing back after last week’s horrific performance, but they are in a good position to do so by rushing four and dropping back more in coverage. Any defensive stop creates a massive swing toward the spread as UNC’s offense should have a field day against the Yellow Jacket defense.
Drake Maye is playing at an elite rate, currently throwing for 2,249 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also added another 201 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. His presence spells doom for a Georgia Tech defense which currently ranks 105th in Def Rush PPA and 106th in Def Rush Success Rate while its secondary clocks in at 101st in Def Pass PPA, 79th in Def Pass Success Rate and 100th in Def Pass Explosiveness.
North Carolina Vs. Georgia Tech Prediction & Best Bet: UNC -11.5
North Carolina Vs. Georgia Tech Betting Odds
Fresh off a back-breaking loss, oddsmakers still peg the Tar Heels as a comfortable favorite in a get right spot by opening them as a -11.5 favorite. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the spread, keeping the number the same since the open. With ACC Championship implications still on the table, motivation should not be an issue as the Tar Heels take advantage of a very weak Georgia Tech defense.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a lightning-quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 63.5. Like the spread, bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the total and have kept the number the same since the opener. The under is enticing as UNC should be able to limit the Yellow Jacket offense while their own offense leans towards a more conservative clock draining approach.
North Carolina Vs. Georgia Tech Key Matchups
Can UNC limit the rushing production of Jamal Haynes?
Jamal Haynes vs. UNC Front Seven
Rushing production has been practically non-existent for the Yellow Jackets as they currently rank 111th in Rush Success Rate and 96th in Rush Play Rate. When they do decide to run it, they hand it off to their lead back Jamal Haynes who has rushed for 465 yards and four touchdowns.
Rushed 18 times, zooming for 95 yards + touchdown!
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) September 27, 2023
The lack of Success Rate is especially vital as UNC’s front seven struggles to contain the run. Lucky for North Carolina, their rush defense struggles may be masked as the field shrinks, allowing them to stretch out and cover more area when backed into scoring position. This will limit the scoring pace of Georgia Tech, allowing UNC to pull away with touchdowns of their own.