The North Carolina Tar Heels are hoping to turn their Bowl Game misfortunes around in the Mayo Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Tar Heels have lost eight of their last 11 bowl appearances, including a 41-27 blowout at the hands of Texas A&M last season. UNC has a shot to redeem themselves in this ACC-SEC border clash as near double-digit favorites against their rivals.
Despite making it to Bowl Season, UNC’s season was a pretty big letdown after high expectations from the preseason were not met. They ended the season at 6-6 and were under .500 in conference play. UNC went just 1-3 SU and 2-3 ATS against ranked opponents. They suffered some early heartbreak by losing to unranked Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Florida State and never really recovered.
On the other side of the coin, South Carolina exceeded their preseason expectations by finishing 6-6 and making a bowl appearance. They outright beat Auburn and Florida and proved they are capable of punching up.
Here are the odds for the Mayo Bowl, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina Spread and Over/Under
- North Carolina: -9.5 (-110)
- South Carolina: +9.5 (-110)
- North Carolina: -340
- South Carolina: +270
- 58 (Over -110/Under -110)
North Carolina vs. South Carolina Betting Trends
- The Tar Heels are 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last seven games.
- The Tar Heels are 4-1 straight up (SU) in their last five games as a favorite.
- The OVER is 4-2 in the Tar Heels’ last six games.
- The UNDER is 4-1 in the Tar Heels’ last five games against the SEC.
- The Gamecocks are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games.
- The Gamecocks are 0-6 SU in their last six games against the ACC.
- The Gamecocks are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games as an underdog.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina Prediction and Pick
North Carolina hit a rough patch down the home stretch and is 3-3 in its last six games heading into the Mayo Bowl. However, each loss was to a ranked opponent. One major positive for the Tar Heels as of this writing is that no players are opting out and they have no significant injuries of note. UNC’s offense is 12th in the FBS with an average of 36.6 points per game and ninth with 476.3 yards per game. Sam Howell leads the charge and the Tar Heels need him to catch fire early. Howell has a career-low 23 passing touchdowns this season but has become a dual-threat player with 825 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Because Howell is playing in this game and not opting to head to the NFL just yet, South Carolina will have to put together a strong offensive performance to keep up. This, however, will be a problem for the Gamecocks who average just 19.1 points and 310.6 yards per game. The offense will be even weaker after RB ZaQuandre White declared for the draft and has opted out of this game. Defensive end Kingsley Enagbare, who had 4.5 sacks and 29 tackles this season, also declared for the NFL Draft and wone be playing.
With Howell playing and South Carolina missing some pieces, I like UNC to win and cover in Thursday’s Mayo Bowl.
Pick: UNC -9.5 (-110)