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East Carolina vs. North Carolina - 9/8/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1) at East Carolina Pirates (0-1)
Date & Time Saturday September 8, 2018, 3:30 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: East Carolina Pirates +16.5 -- Over/Under: 56.5
TV Channel
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CFB | North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1) at East Carolina Pirates (0-1)
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels and East Carolina Pirates meet Saturday in college football action at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The North Carolina Tar Heels look to avoid back-to-back 0-2 starts after losing to Cal, 24-17. The North Carolina Tar Heels have lost four of their last five road games. Nathan Elliott is completing 42.9 percent of his passes for 137 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Elliott has four touchdown passes and six interceptions in his last two games. Anthony Ratliff-Williams and Javonte Williams have combined for 88 receiving yards and one touchdown while Jordon Brown has three receptions. The North Carolina Tar Heels ground game is averaging 164 yards per contest, and Elliott leads the way with 58 yards on 10 carries. Defensively, North Carolina is allowing 24 points and 279 yards per game. Malik Carney leads the North Carolina Tar Heels with eight tackles, Jonathan Smith has 1.5 sacks and Dominique Ross has four pass deflections.

The East Carolina Pirates also look for their first victory of the season after losing to North Carolina A&T, 23-28. The East Carolina Pirates have lost six of their last eight home games. Reid Herring is completing 56.9 percent of his passes for 309 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Herring has three touchdown passes on 66 career pass attempts. Terrell Green and Blake Proehl have combined for 150 receiving yards and one touchdown while Trevon Brown has seven receptions. The East Carolina Pirates ground game is averaging 68 yards per contest, and Anthony Scott leads the way with 34 yards on 12 carries. Defensively, East Carolina is allowing 28 points and 269 yards per game. Nate Harvey leads the East Carolina Pirates with eight tackles, Jalen Price has one sack and Corey Seargent has one pass deflection.

The Tar Heels are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 road games, 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Pirates are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 7-23-1 ATS in their last 31 games overall. The Tar Heels are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.

I'm not trying to back the East Carolina Pirates no matter who they play or what the line is, as this team isn't good defensively and often looks ugly when they lose. I said last week North Carolina A&T had a chance to win outright against the Pirates as big underdogs, and ECU never had a chance to take control of that game. The North Carolina Tar Heels aren't a perfect team by any means, but they have better players across the board and are explosive enough offensively to get the job done here. As more of a fade from East Carolina than anything else, give me the road team and the chalk.

North Carolina Tar Heels -16.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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