Sept. 18, 2021
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UNC Tar Heels Predictions
Score Prediction - UNC 38 Virginia 31
Things didn't get off to the kind of start the North Carolina Tar Heels had hoped for. They entered the season with high expectations, including hopes of a Coastal Division title, an ACC Championship and a potential appearance in the College Football Playoff. After a 17-10 loss at Virginia Tech to open the season, the latter could very well be done, but if they want to keep hope alive for those other two pieces, they need to make sure not to have any additional setbacks. So QB Sam Howell and the Tar Heels will need to be able to push past a solid Virginia team in this one.
The Tar Heels rolled up a 59-17 win against Georgia State, covering a 26-point spread, after the OVER connected. The Heels racked up 607 total yards of offense, including 406 yards through the air, as Howell threw for 352 yards and three scores while running for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground. As such, he could have snapped his Heisman Trophy hopes back on the rails after a disappointing start in Game 1 in Blacksburg.
The public is all over the Virginia Cavaliers at nearly a 2-to-1 clip, so that makes the Hoos a tough bet. You hate to side with the public when the difference is that stark. Many bettors apparently like what they have seen from UVA after a 42-14 win and cover against Illinois, and a 43-0 win and cover over FCS William & Mary. The Under has connected in each of their two outings, too.
QB Brennan Armstrong is off to a hot start, going for 744 passing yards, seven touchdowns and one interception through two outings. The pass game is hitting on all cylinders, while WR Dontayvion Wicks has posted a team-high 163 yards and two scores. The run game needs to get going, as RB Wayne Taulapapa has managed just 83 rushing yards to lead the team, although UVA does have four rushing scores through two contests.
The UNDER has cashed in each of the games for Virginia despite the fact they have rolled up 550.5 total yards per game to rank 11th in the nation, and 381.0 rushing yards per outing to rank sixth in the country. That defense will certainly be put to the test against Howell and the dynamic UNC pass attack.
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UNC Tar Heels Best Bets
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UNC Tar Heels Game Odds
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Resources
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Analysis
The Heels own a 64-58-4 edge in this long-time rivalry, although the Cavaliers have won each of the past four meetings in this series. That includes an epic 44-41 win over North Carolina in Charlottesville on Halloween, not a trick, but a treat for fans of the Hoos last season.
This game is shaping up as a pass-happy battle between Armstrong and Howell, with just occasional runs. The last time North Carolina won against Virginia was back on Oct. 22, 2016 in Charlottesville, and the last time they won against UVA at Kenan was way back on Oct. 24, 2015, a 26-13 win.
Virginia has dominated two games to date, although meeting William & Mary and Illinois isn't exactly a gauntlet. This will be the first of five games against foes currently ranked, so we'll get a very good idea whether Armstrong and the Cavaliers are for real in this first true test. The good news is Armstrong appears to be fine after going to the medical tent during the Illinois game. He suffered an apparent lower-body injury, but he was able to get checked out and return to finish the game.
UNC wasn't as lucky in its win over the Panthers last week, as they lost CB Ladaeson DeAndre Hollins to a season-ending lower-body injury. The win over Georgia State was costly because RBs British Brooks and D.J. Jones each left with injuries, and S Ja'Qurious Conley and OG Joshua Ezeudu were also nicked up. Conley actually was fitted for a cast Saturday, and came back in to finish the game. But UNC's depth is certainly being tested early due to the rash of injuries.
We'll also find out a lot about the Virginia defense. The Cavaliers have had a very difficult time trying to contain Howell in two previous meetings, too. He has 796 passing yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions, completing 66.7 percent of his pass attempts during the two battles.
Virginia Cavaliers vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Trends