UNC vs. Illinois Prediction
Can Lovie Smith get his Illinois team off to a 2-0 start when they host North Carolina on Saturday at 7:30PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, North Carolina is favored on the road in this contest, as the Tar Heels are getting odds of -9 points against Illinois. The over/under total for the game is listed at 59 points. These two met last season with UNC picking up a 48-14 victory at home.
Illinois began the Smith era with a 52-3 win over Murray State at home last weekend. The Illini dominated in all areas of the game, outgaining the Racers 515-165 in total yards. Illinois also forced three turnovers while committing none. Wes Lunt threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns to lead Illinois while Kendrick Foster rushed for 118 yards and two scores on just four carries.
North Carolina opened up its season with a 33-24 loss to Georgia in the Georgia Dome. The Heels gave up 474 yards of offense to Georgia while being held to just 315 total yards of their own. UNC had no answer for Nick Chubb, who rushed for 222 yards on 32 carries. UNC had some success of their own on the ground, as T. J. Logan ran for 80 yards while Elijah Hood had 72 rushing yards. Mitch Trubisky struggled under center, going just 24 of 40 passing for 156 yards, an average of only 3.9 yards per attempt.
It’s hard to compare these two based on their opening games, as UNC faces a much tougher team than Illinois. The Heels couldn’t stop Chubb, but they won’t face as dynamic a back this week. They also should have much better success on offense, as Illinois isn’t known for being a strong defensive unit. With the spread just in single digits, I don’t see Illinois being able to keep pace enough where that will cover. Expect UNC to bounce back and get a nice road win.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 2 PREDICTION: NORTH CAROLINA -9