ESPN College GameDay Odds: North Carolina Vs. South Carolina Preview

Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
college gameday odds

ESPN College Gameday heads to Charlotte, NC for a college football Week 1 blockbuster, the No. 21 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks. Across the college football betting sites, the best line on UNC is to cover the spread. College GameDay odds have South Carolina as a underdog on the moneyline to win the game. The over/under for this game is set at points.

College Gameday Odds: North Carolina vs. South Carolina

Catch North Carolina vs. South Carolina beginning at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN from Bank Of America Stadium. Browse UNC vs. South Carolina odds from the best sports betting sites below. Click anywhere to place a bet on the game.

UNC vs. South Carolina Quick Look

North CarolinaStatSouth Carolina
2.89 (18th)PPD (2022)2.29 (57th)
2.77 (109th)PPD/A (2022)2.40 (89th)
5.9 (37th)YPP (2022)5.7 (46th)
6.1 (114th)YPP/A (2022)5.7 (87th)
0-2Neutral Site0-1

South Carolina Preview

After losing offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield to Nebraska, South Carolina sought an in-league replacement: Arkansas TE coach Dowell Loggains. He served as an NFL offensive play caller for five seasons with the Bears, Dolphins, and Jets before entering the college ranks. Loggains looks to continue what the Gamecocks had rolling at the end of the season (34.5 ppg) opposed to their struggles prior to then (27.4).

Quarterback Spencer Rattler returns with a strong group of weapons, all of which should be healthy by kickoff. Antwane Wells and Nyckolas Harbor both battled injuries in camp, but are reportedly good to go for Week 1. Tight end Trey Knox, who transferred from Arkansas with Loggains, expects to be utilized in the passing game and is also healthy for this game. Just two starters return along the offensive line – a unit that ranked 113th in run blocking, per PFF.

Defensively, South Carolina lost a lot up front. Their top pass rusher, Jordan Burch, transferred to Oregon this offseason. According to Phil Steele’s preseason unit rankings, the Gamecocks have the second-worst front seven in the SEC. Fortunately, David Spaulding returns after missing last season with an injury. He’ll help the secondary improve upon their 30th ranking in pass EPA from last season. However, they also ranked 123rd against the run, and that issue doesn’t appear to be on the fast track to improvement.

North Carolina Preview

Like South Carolina, UNC replaced their offensive coordinator this season, bringing in UCF’s Chip Lindsey in place of a departed Phil Longo (Wisconsin). Lindsey works with preseason Heisman contender Drake Maye, who passed for over 4,300 yards in 2022. However, Maye loses his top two targets and his presumptive new favorite, Tez Walker, may not play at all this season as he battles the NCAA for eligibility. Walker transferred to UNC after racking up 15.9 yards per reception and 11 touchdowns with Kent State.

The backfield projects to be a stable between British Brooks (who missed 2022 with an injury), Elijah Green (last year’s rushing leader behind Maye), and Omarion Hampton. Their offensive line collapsed late last season, leading to just 20.3 points per game over their last four (0-4, 38.3 prior). The unit ranked the 15th-worst in PFF’s run blocking grades and 68th in pass protection. They add Coastal Carolina standout Willie Lampkin and all four other starters.

But, like South Carolina, the defense is the issue. UNC ranked 123rd in EPA per play, including 129th against the pass. They lose two All-ACC corners, but bring in FCS All-American Alijah Huzzie from East Tennessee State; Phil Steele ranks the secondary last in the ACC. The Tar Heels return six of their front seven, including preseason All American Cedric Gray at linebacker.

College GameDay Odds: UNC vs. South Carolina matchups

The market favored UNC for most of the offseason, dragging the line off an early PK to stalling at -1.5 for some time. Once the season grew closer, the Tar Heels moved to -2.5 and the best number currently available is UNC .

These two teams squared off in Bank of America Stadium in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl, where Shane Beamer scrapped together a 38-21 win without a quarterback. Current odds suggest we’ll see another high-scoring affair, but that may not be the case. Without real answers at receiver – and with a multitude of running backs and experienced offensive line – we may see the Tar Heels lean into the run despite rostering Maye. Of course, Lindsey would look to take advantage of an unproven South Carolina defensive front.

Barring a complete turnaround in defensive talent for UNC, South Carolina should be able to move the ball despite a subpar offensive line. Harbor is a versatile five-star athlete and Dakereon Joyner is a converted receiver at running back. Beamer and the Gamecocks may want to get the ball in their freshman’s hands in a multitude of ways and run the ball more often, or throw short more often.

That said, 65 is an important number when it comes to totals in the 60s. Aside from 62 (2.35%), 65 is the most-frequent total above 60 (2.22%). With the total currently at 64.5, and risen from 61.5 in July, patience may prove to be a virtue. Should this number hit 65, we could see some buyback.

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KFord Rating assessment

Find Kelley Ford’s work here at TheLines all college football season long!

I have North Carolina -3, which is a 58% win expectancy. UNC is power rated No. 23, while South Carolina is power rated No. 36. Both of these teams are similar – good, high powered offenses and average defenses. Very little separates the defenses, with South Carolina ranking No. 64 and North Carolina ranking No. 68.

The difference for me is North Carolina’s offense is projecting to be just a smidge better – No. 14 nationally compared to South Carolina, who projects to be No. 24 nationally.

Kelley Ford, TheLines College Football Podcast

UNC vs. South Carolina Odds: Best Bets

According to KFord Ratings, the buyback seen at -3 makes sense and UNC -2.5 has very little value. TheLines’ aggregate power ratings favor the Tar Heels by 1.3 points, also showing little value in the line. The markets on this game have been up for months and that makes this a challenging side to bet given its maturity.

However, should the total hit 65, I’ll be favoring the under. Both teams may lean far more into the ground game and throw pace out the window given their personnel and absences. With the new clock rule, rush-heavy teams are disproportionately affected with more plays lost to the running clock. Jumping on Under 64.5 would be sacrificing a 2.2% edge – something bettors cannot afford to do.

Best of luck betting if you choose to do so on College GameDay odds.

WATCH! TheLines College Football Podcast: Week 1 Preview

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