The 2.5-point underdog North Carolina Tar Heels are taking their border rivalry Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium to face the South Carolina Gamecocks on Thursday evening.
It’s early in the season and the CFB betting spread is a mere 2.5 points. Should you bet on the Tar Heels or Gamecocks?
A Closer Look At The North Carolina Tar Heels Vs South Carolina Gamecocks Spread & My Against The Spread Pick.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs South Carolina Gamecocks
Date: Thursday, September 3, 2015
Start Time: 6:00 PM ET
Location: Charlotte, NC
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
Odds: South Carolina -2.5
Game Total: 64
Radio: North Carolina vs South Carolina
TV Info: ESPN
Can UNC Cover the 2.5-point against the Gamecocks?
The Tar Heels need to establish the run if they have a prayer.
Experience on the offensive line is ultra-important for college football teams. It might be the most important thing from year-to-year since the most successful programs are able to both run and pass the football. North Carolina has a very experienced offensive line.
— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) August 31, 2015
The Tar Heels appear to have the upper hand in this matchup because UNC returns all of its starters along the offensive line. QB Marqise Williams goes into the season after having hip surgery, but it may not matter because UNC also has 2 excellent tailbacks in T.J. Long, who averaged 4.9 yards per carry last season, and 6’0”, 220 pounds freshman running back Ty’Son Williams.
Gene Chizik, the former Auburn coach, takes over the defense at North Carolina. He’ll have to find a way to get the unit, which finished last in the ACC in 2014, to get through Shell and to Mitch before Mitch can throw the ball to Cooper. The guess is that Chizik will do so. Even though South Carolina is the favorite, North Carolina actually looks like the winner in this matchup.
Can South Carolina Cover the 2.5-point Against The Tar Heels?
The Gamecocks are in a transition period and their ranking reflects that.
South Carolina is traditionally a huge favorite going into the first game of the season. Then again, the Gamecocks are usually ranked in the Top 10. That won’t be the case this season as South Carolina appears to be going through something of a transition.
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) August 31, 2015
The Gamecocks have been picked by most football analysts to finish behind Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee in the SEC East. Although South Carolina usually has one of the toughest defenses in the SEC, not a single player from the Gamecock’s D has been chosen for the 2015 All SEC preseason team. One player that was chosen is wide receiver Pharoh Cooper.
Too bad for Gamecock fans that Cooper has to play with an unproven QB under center. Coach Steve Spurrier announced that Connor Mitch, who went 2 of 6 in two games as a redshirt freshman last season, will be the starter versus UNC. Cooper is good enough to play like that other Cooper, the one that is in silver and black on Sunday’s in the NFL this season, who suited up for Alabama. But, will Mitch be able to get him the ball?
A.J. Cann is no longer on South Carolina’s offensive line. Senior Brandon Shell will be counted on to keep the line together and to protect Mitch. It won’t be easy for him to do all by himself. Nobody else along the offensive line has as much experience as Shell. If South Carolina can’t protect Mitch, North Carolina will win straight up.
My Against The Spread Pick is North Carolina beating South Carolina by a score of 45-34.