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North Carolina at NC State odds, picks and prediction

Ryan Bloomfield
Sportsbook Wire

The North Carolina Tar Heels (6-5, 3-4 ACC) head to Raleigh, N.C., to take on the No. 24 NC State Wolfpack (8-3, 5-2) Friday at Carter-Finley Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the North Carolina at NC State odds and lines, and make our expert college football picks, predictions and bets.

North Carolina star QB Sam Howell missed last week's game, a 34-14 win over Wofford, but is expected to be ready for this one. UNC will certainly need him, as Howell has been the driver behind the offense's 37.0 points per game (11th nationally) compared to a defense that's giving up over 400 yards per game.

NC State has been excellent at home this season (6-0; 5-1 ATS), recently dismantling Syracuse 41-17 last week. QB Devin Leary has an excellent 16/3 TD/INT ratio with 300+ passing yards in each of his last five games, so the Wolfpack offense is peaking at the right time.

Rankings according to the AFCA Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.

North Carolina at NC State odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports' betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Thursday at 3:47 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: North Carolina +200 (bet $100 to win $200) | NC State -250 (bet $250 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): North Carolina +6.5 (-115) | NC State -6.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 62.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)

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North Carolina at NC State odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

NC State 34, North Carolina 31

Money line

Expect a tight game given the rivalry, NC State's success at home and UNC's ability to score points with Howell back under center.

PASS and target the spread instead.

Against the spread

The recent trends are in NC State's favor. It has covered in three of its last four games, while North Carolina is 1-5 ATS over its last six.

But UNC has faced some tough competition recently with games against No. 17 Pittsburgh (23-30 loss in OT), No. 21 Wake Forest (58-55 win), and No. 5 Notre Dame (44-34 loss).

NORTH CAROLINA +6.5 (-115) has beaten NC State handily the last two years of this rivalry: 41-10 in 2019 and 48-21 in 2020. Look for the Tar Heels to keep this close or even win outright in Howell's return.

Over/Under

While NC State fields a strong defense, it's been less stout against the pass this year (213.1 yards per game, 45th nationally) and gave up 290 yards passing to Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman two weeks ago.

Given Leary's recent hot streak and Howell's return, expect plenty of points.

TAKE THE OVER 62.5 (-108).

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