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Irish’s Winning Streak in Jeopardy at North Carolina

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book looks for a receiver during the first quarter against Clemson in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS) will put its 14-game winning streak on the line when it visits the high-scoring Tar Heels (6-2, 4-4). North Carolina, which has scored 115 points in its last two games, opened as a 3.5-point home underdog.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs North Carolina Tar Heels
  • Date/Time: November 27, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Kenan Memorial Stadium
  • TV Coverage: ABC
  • Opening Odds: Notre Dame -3.5 | O/U 64 (Line History)
  • Notre Dame vs North Carolina Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Notre Dame was a 7.5-point favorite on the look-ahead lines, but the Irish’s recent defensive struggles may be why oddsmakers opened Notre Dame as just 3.5-point chalk. The Fighting Irish have lost five of their last six games as road favorites of 4 points or less.

Notre Dame News & Notes

The Irish will be down a couple of key starters on the offensive line this week. Centre Jarrett Patterson was injured in the 45-31 win at Boston College last time out, and right guard Tommy Kraemer underwent an emergency appendectomy last weekend. Sophomore Zeke Correll will replace Patterson while senior Josh Lugg, who started five games last year at right tackle, is expected to suit up in place of Kraemer.

Quarterback Ian Book is emerging as a Heisman Trophy dark horse after putting up big numbers in his last four games. The senior has thrown for 1,104 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions during that stretch, adding 233 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Book has had to put up big numbers in the Irish’s last two games to compensate for a struggling Notre Dame defense. After giving up 62 points in the first six games of the year, the Irish have allowed 71 in their last two. Notre Dame has gone OVER the total in five of its last seven games overall and four of five on the road.

North Carolina News & Notes

The Tar Heels’ last two contests have looked more like video games than ACC clashes. North Carolina put up 115 points in wins over Duke and Wake Forest, although that latter victory over the Demon Deacons was still a sweat because of UNC’s defensive issues. The Tar Heels allowed more than 500 yards of offense in the first three quarters before buckling down in the final frame to rally from a late two-touchdown deficit.

Quarterback Sam Howell has thrown for 440-plus yards in two of his last three games and boasts an impressive 20-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his last six outings. North Carolina has gone OVER the total in five of those six games, with three of those contests eclipsing the total by 16 points or more.

Betting Pick: Notre Dame -4

The Irish’s poor recent defensive performances came against Clemson and in a letdown spot the following week against Boston College. Coming off a bye week, look for a much better showing by the Notre Dame defense, while Book and the offence should have no issues moving the ball against the Tar Heels.

Shark Bites
  • Notre Dame is 14-0 SU in its last 14 games (avg. margin: 22.1).
  • The OVER is 4-0 in North Carolina’s last 4 games.
  • The OVER is 4-1 in Notre Dame’s last 5 road games.