Duke vs. North Carolina Prediction, Odds and Spread for College Football Week 5

Mataeo Durant and the Duke Blue Devils have a large spread as underdogs against North Carolina.
Mataeo Durant and the Duke Blue Devils have a large spread as underdogs against North Carolina. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke Blue Devils dropped their first game of the season, losing 31-28 to the Charlotte 49ers, but have rattled off three wins in a row now, most recently bashing Kansas 52-33.

The Blue Devils rushing attack has been great, currently ranking 24th in the country and being led by running back Mataeo Durant, with eight touchdowns already and averaging six yards per carry.

The North Carolina Tar Heels fumbled their way to a loss last week, losing three fumbles to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a 45-22 defeat.

There may not be any National Championship or Heisman hopes for quarterback Sam Howell, but he is still the face of this Tar Heels team. Howell is averaging 293.3 yards per game in the air, and has become a surprisingly noticeable scrambler this season, averaging 64.8 rushing yards per game; Howell averaged just 12 rushing yards per game in 2020.

Duke vs. UNC, whether it's on the gridiron or the hardwood, whether it's March or October, still means something.

Here are the odds for this rivalry, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

Duke vs. North Carolina Odds


Duke +20 (-110)

North Carolina -20 (-110)


Duke +680

North Carolina -1025


72.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Duke vs. North Carolina Prediction

North Carolina has been a turnover-prone team to start this season. It’s understandable to struggle to find your footing on offense after losing so many pieces from the previous year, but the mistakes have been too much. The Tar Heels have only won the turnover battle in one game, their win over the Virginia Cavaliers on Sept. 18th. The two losses have come from Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech and both times North Carolina turned the ball over three times and failed to get a single takeaway of its own. 

Both the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels can move the ball on offense, but both fail to stop the ball on defense. This will be a high scoring game, as evidenced by the total set at 72.5, but I believe that Duke is just good enough, and North Carolina just bad enough, to keep this one tighter than 20 points.

I’ll take Duke on the spread at +20.

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