North Carolina vs. West Virginia Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for Duke's Mayo Bowl

College football bowl preview for Duke's Mayo Bowl between West Virginia vs. North Carolina.

Nov 25, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Garrett Greene (6) carries
Nov 25, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Garrett Greene (6) carries / Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia and North Carolina meet in one of the fan favorites of bowl season, the Duke's Mayo Bowl!

While a lot of excitement revolved around the potential to see star quarterback Drake Maye play for North Carolina one last time before he heads to the NFL Draft, he opted out of this bowl game, giving a significant edge to West Virginia, who enjoyed a standout season in 2023 after low expectations.

Can the Mountaineers do enough to cover the point spread that is now reflecting that Maye is out and the Tar Heels are set to start redshirt freshman Conner Harrell?

Here's our best bets for the Duke's Mayo Bowl!

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North Carolina vs. West Virginia Odds, Spread and Total

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West Virginia vs. North Carolina Betting Trends

  • West Virginia is 7-5 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • North Carolina is 6-6 ATS this season
  • North Carolina is 0-1 ATS as an underdog this season
  • West Virginia is 4-3 ATS as a favorite this season
  • Neal Brown is 2-2-1 ATS in bowl games

North Carolina How to Watch

  • Date: Wednesday, Dec. 27
  • Game Time: 5:30 PM EST
  • Venue: Bank of America Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • North Carolina Record: 8-4
  • West Virginia Record: 8-4

North Carolina vs. West Virginia Key Players to Watch

North Carolina

Conner Harrell: The 6'5" freshman is in line to start this one in place of Maye with limited experience, attempting only six passes in mop up duty for the Tar Heels. He'll face a West Virginia defense that grades out as national average, but one that is adept at getting in the backfield, generating 73 tackles for loss this season, 30th most in the country.

West Virginia

Garrett Greene: The dual-threat quarterback has revitalized West Virginia's football program. While he's not an elite passer, completing only 54% of his passes, he is a good decision maker, only three interceptions, and a dangerous runner, rushing in 12 touchdowns this season. Overall, the Mountaineers were 28th in success rate on offense.

North Carolina vs. West Virginia Prediction and Pick

North Carolina was a team that relied on Maye to do a ton of the heavy lifting. While Omarion Hampton is a standout running back, a lot of his success is the impact of Maye at quarterback.

While Harrell presents a dual threat at quarterback, I trust this West Virginia team to be wise to it and shut down the Tar Heels offense that will also be without star wide receiver Devontez Walker (team high 41 catches and seven touchdowns).

The odds have shifted in favor of the Mountaineers after the Maye news and rightfully so, but trying to capture the true difference between these two teams is more guess work than anything as Harrell has little to no experience.

I'm going to opt to trust WVU in the Duke's Mayo Bowl, who entered this season as the most likely team to fire its coach Neal Brown and proceeded to win eight games.

Brown has the team trending in the right direction long term, and a favorable matchup to get margin against a North Carolina team that is 81st in EPA/Play and finished the season allowing 31 or more to its last six ACC foes.

Don't try and catch the falling knife and grab the underdog Tar Heels, the Mountaineers are primed for a blowout bowl win.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!