Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
NORTH CAROLINA -15 -110 over N.C. State
Keenan Memorial Stadium – Chapel Hill, NC
Streaming: On ESPN in the Sports Group and TSN2 in the 3PM Kickoff/Soccer Group
12:00 PM EST. When we survey the board each week, we hope to feast our eyes on archetypal buy-low, sell-high scenarios because we know that is where the value is found. This week, the annual cross-state brawl without a cute nickname between N.C. State and North Carolina serve to be one of these situations.
North Carolina was a very popular selection last week when it was on the road at Florida State, closing as a 13½-point favorite. The Tar Heels opened as a 10-point choice but very quickly an avalanche of activity came in on UNC all the way up to kick-off. Instead of UNC cruising to an expected blowout win over the lowly Seminoles, who had yet to defeat an FBS opponent at that point, it was Florida State who bullied North Carolina, as the Seminoles raced to a 31-7 halftime lead against the then #5-ranked Tar Heels. Owners of a North Carolina ticket knew then and there that they had a dead ticket and the national audience at-large also were painted with an impression that perhaps the Tar Heels were severely overrated. North Carolina would rally to draw within a field goal of the Seminoles but it didn’t matter because the damage regarding the Tar Heels market credibility was done. UNC never had a chance to cover and we’re willing to bet that anyone that wagered on them didn’t even bother watching the second half. The sour taste remains.
In addition to the Tar Heels putting on one of the worst first half displays by any team in America season-to-date, the Wolf Pack have been a cash cow as of late. State has covered in four of its five outings this season. The market takes to teams that keep paying out. We cannot stress enough that we cannot predict the outcome of games but we have always been apprehensive to back underdogs that the market is keen on, albeit it is often a sign that the pooch is overvalued or the chalk is undervalued. This contest appears to be the spot where N.C, State being undervalued has reached its conclusion.
The tale of the tape also raises red flags. First, the underdog in this series is 12-5 over the past 17 matches. Secondly, we have a ranked team (N.C. State) taking back +14½ points, which makes the underdog look like even more of a steal with the two converted touchdowns and the hook. The figure itself is a favorite-conducive number but the results will suggest the contrary. Finally, had UNC done what it was supposed to do last week and blow out the Seminoles, the sentiment behind this market would be far different. Had North Carolina State not stolen wins at Pitt or against Wake Forest, this line could have easily been in the 20-point range this week. Nevertheless, thanks to the results and not the ingredients, we get the chalk at a bargain.
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NORTH CAROLINA -15 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)