North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Betting Preview
October 29, 2021
Notre Dame and North Carolina meet for the 22nd time on Saturday with the Fighting Irish holding a 19-2 lead in the all-time series. The Fighting Irish are a perfect 12-0 at home against the Tar Heels all time and have won the last three meetings between the two teams. North Carolina has fallen short of preseason expectations, but have a chance to earn a signature victory against No. 11 Notre Dame on the road. The Fighting Irish are trying to hold onto their spot in the New Year's Six bowl games with a manageable schedule down the stretch.
North Carolina vs. Notre Dame Pick
The Tar Heels and Fighting Irish are schedule to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern under the lights October 30, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.
Why bet the Over:
✅ The Fighting Irish will be missing top safety Kyle Hamilton in this game, limiting how Notre Dame will be able to defend Josh Downs. This should give North Carolina more confidence to attack Notre Dame down the field with its vertical passes.
✅ Notre Dame's pass rush has struggled to pressure the quarterback in recent weeks with nine sacks in the last five weeks after securing 10 in the first two games. The extra time is dangerous against a quarterback of Sam Howell's talent and arm strength.
✅ Sam Howell is the best quarterback Notre Dame has faced all season and we've seen offenses with far fewer weapons be able to put up a lot of points on this Fighting Irish defense. Howell has thrown 18 touchdowns and for nearly 1,900 yards in seven games this season.
✅ The North Carolina defense is a mess and has allowed at least 35 points in four of the past five weeks. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is averaging 31 points per game this season and has hit that mark three times in the last four games.
The Tar Heels have fallen well short of expectations this year in large part because the defense has been atrocious. North Carolina has just 14 sacks and has forced just 10 turnovers through seven games. Sitting at 4-3, the Tar Heels are going to sweat out bowl eligibility this season despite having a top-level offense. Josh Downs has a dominant force for Sam Howell and the Tar Heels offense with 60 catches for 837 yards and eight touchdowns. However, Howell has been inconsistent with just a 61.1 percent completion percentage and six interceptions this year.
The 11th-ranked Fighting Irish enter this game at 6-1 against a schedule that was much softer than many anticipated when it was crafted. Running back Kyren Williams is the key to the offense with nine total touchdowns as the team's leading rusher as well as second-leading receiver. Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan has been adequate as Notre Dame's quarterback, but he is not wowing anyone with his play. The Fighting Irish defense has had its struggles this season, but Isaiah Foskey is a game-changer with his eight sacks this year.