North Carolina vs. Syracuse - 9/12/20 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

North Carolina vs. Syracuse - 9/12/20 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange (0-0) at North Carolina Tar Heels (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Kenan Memorial Stadium)

The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -15 -- Over/Under: 60 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Syracuse Orange and the North Carolina Tar Heels meet Saturday in college football action from Kenan Memorial Stadium. 

Syracuse is coming off a disappointing season in 2019, going 5-7 overall and just 2-6 in a tough ACC. That left the Orange in second-to-last place in the Atlantic Division and out of a bowl game. As for the Tar Heels, they fared better last season with a 7-6 mark overall and a 4-4 record in ACC play. North Carolina earned an invite to the Military Bowl, where they took out Temple 55-13 in dominant fashion. Check back all season long for free college football picks and college football predictions at Sports Chat Place. 

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The Orange were coming off a 10-3 record in 2018 and a Camping World Bowl win, but the 2019 season didn’t live up to those lofty expectations, obviously. Syracuse suffered a bad loss 63-20 at Maryland in week two, and suffered a four-game losing streak in the middle of the year that pretty much buried the campaign. 

In 2020, the Orange get head coach Dino Babers back for his fifth season, as well as new coordinators in Sterlin Gilbert (offense) and Tony White (defense). Syracuse has some great speed on defense this season and will be using White’s 3-3-5 defense to get extra pressure on the quarterback. The team gets a tall order in their first game here, though. 

Over on the North Carolina side, they’re looking to build off a pretty nice 2019 season. The Tar Heels did stall out toward the middle of the schedule last year with six losses in eight games. The team was able to rebound in late November and finish off the slate with three straight wins (scoring 41 or more points in each). 

North Carolina wants to keep that offensive run going in head coach Mack Brown’s 12th overall season with the team. Most people seem to think the Tar Heels offense will be formidable once again, and they’ve been ranked at No. 18 in the AP poll. UNC returns 10 starters this year, including QB Sam Howell. 

The Orange are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games in September and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall. Syracuse is 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog and 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. 

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as a favorite and 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games. North Carolina is 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games in September and the over is 5-2 in their last seven games in September. 

Pick: I’m going to stick with North Carolina here. Sure, the line is pretty thick, but that’s to be expected. Considering the Tar Heels finished second in the ACC in total yards per game last year, and also considering the healthy batch of returning key players the big numbers make sense. At around two or three scores I’m comfortable on UNC here, but if the line inflates much beyond that I’ll likely reconsider. 

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Andrew’s Pick North Carolina Tar Heels -15

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.