The North Carolina Tar Heels have a lot to be excited about this coming football season. They return a Heisman Trophy odds frontrunner, QB Drake Maye and come fresh off an ACC Championship appearance. There’s still a gap between North Carolina and ACC foes like Clemson and Miami in ACC football odds, but UNC should be competitive once again.
Below, we’ll dive into North Carolina football odds, including win totals, ACC odds, schedule, and more. North Carolina sports betting apps will be soon launching, giving its residents the opportunity to bet the Tar Heels.
North Carolina Football Odds
View North Carolina football odds below. Click on the price you like to bet now.
UNC is a slim favorite over border rival South Carolina in their Week 1 showdown in Charlotte, NC. These two teams squared off in Charlotte last in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl, where a shorthanded South Carolina squad upended North Carolina, 38-21. Granted, these are two very different teams.
This game might be the premier matchup of Saturday’s slate, scheduled for a 7:30 primetime kick on ABC. Maye looks to take advantage of a South Carolina defense that ranked 88th in EPA per play, although 30th in EPA against the pass. Safety RJ Roderick returns to the lineup after missing most of last season, but USC must replace All-American level talent like Cam Smith. Up front, the Gamecocks are much worse, ranking 123rd against the run and 111th in sack rate.
The other sideline isn’t exactly chock-full of defensive talent. North Carolina opted not to field a defense in 2022 and departures of their lone talent in Storm Duck, Tony Grimes, and Ja’Qurious Conley leaves their secondary wide open. Against Spencer Rattler and a pass-happy South Carolina offense, UNC may be set to give up chunks of points and yards. Understandably, this game boasts an over/under set at .
Expected North Carolina win rate: 54.3%
Implied final score: North Carolina 32, South Carolina 30.5
North Carolina Football National Title Odds
After initially opening at 80-1 to win the National Championship at FanDuel Sportsbook, UNC has odds to win the title at the best college football betting sites. They’re among fallers like TCU, Kentucky, and Ole Miss this offseason. The ACC is one of the easier Power Five leagues this coming season – perhaps the weakest – but the Tar Heels have to run through Clemson and Florida State, two projected powerhouses in 2023. Without divisions in the ACC, that path to a conference title becomes much harder.
In a league with the prowess of the ACC (or lack thereof), a spot in the College Football Playoff demands a conference championship. Even then, UNC is not guaranteed a spot. In 2024, UNC’s Playoff hopes become a lot more viable when the field expands to 12.
North Carolina Football ACC Odds
As mentioned, divisions in the ACC are gone. No longer than teams bumble through the ACC Coastal and reach the ACC Championship Game with seven or eight wins. North Carolina was one of the teams most negatively impacted by that change. Even still, the Tar Heels have the third-shortest ACC Championship odds at , behind only Clemson and FSU.
UNC Football Win Total
Sportsbooks line North Carolina for regular season wins this year. With a dynamic quarterback and the 40th ranked strength of schedule (per aggregate power ratings), UNC is set to win games this year. They play one true road game before Oct. 28 and handle Appalachian State, Minnesota, Miami, and rival Duke at home. However, finishing out the season at Clemson and NC State makes the schedule much more difficult.
Our preseason numbers line UNC for 8.3 wins, on par with where the market stands.
UNC Football Roster
North Carolina returns the fourth-most overall production nationally at 79%. Offensively, they return 84% of roster production (third-most), namely Maye. They also add dynamic Kent State receiver Devontez Walker (58-921-11) via the transfer portal. Defensively, their top linebacker Cedric Gray returns but their three top starters in the secondary departed in the transfer portal.
Who is the North Carolina football head coach?
Mack Brown prepares for his 35th season coaching college football and 15th with North Carolina (second stint). He’s a National Champion from his days at Texas and helped pull UNC up from a two-year stretch which they went 5-18. Brown originally led the Tar Heels from 1988-97, where he won four bowl games. Since re-joining UNC in 2019, he’s just 1-3 in bowl games.
Who is the QB for North Carolina football?
Heisman contender Drake Maye is the quarterback for North Carolina. The RS sophomore passed for over 4,300 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2022, while adding another 700 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Maye was a five-star out of Charlotte – the top player in North Carolina and fourth-ranked QB in the nation.
Projected offensive starters
Returning starters in bold
Transfers in italics
- QB: Drake Maye
- RB: British Brooks
- WR: JJ Jones
- WR: Devontez Walker
- SLOT: Nate McCollum
- TE: John Copenhaver
- OT: William Barnes
- OG: Ed Montilus
- C: Corey Gaynor
- OG: Willie Lampkin
- OT: Spencer Rolland
Projected defensive starters
Returning starters in bold
Transfers in italics
- DL: Desmond Evans
- DL: Kevin Hester Jr.
- DL: Myles Murphy
- APEX: Kaimon Rucker
- LB: Cedric Gray
- LB: Power Echols
- CB: Alijah Huzzie
- CB: Armani Chatman
- DB: DeAndre Boykins
- SAF: Derrik Allen
- SAF: Giovanni Biggers
Tar Heels football schedule 2023
Times below in ET.
|9/2||vs. South Carolina||7:30 p.m.||UNC -1.5|
|9/9||Appalachian State||5:15 p.m.|
|10/28||at Georgia Tech||TBA|
|11/25||at NC State||TBA|
Week 1 vs. South Carolina: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
UNC Football Props
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How to bet on the Tar Heels
The money line is the most simple bet to make. Betting on the money line is betting on a winner for the game, cut and dry. Consider the following example:
- North Carolina -180
- Duke +145
UNC is favored in the game, indicated by a minus number (-180) while Duke is the underdog, indicated by a plus number (+145). In order to win $100 on the Tar Heels, a bettor would need to wager $180. Conversely, a $100 wager on Duke would win $145 if successful. In both instances, winning wagers also return the original bet amount.
Betting on the point spread takes things one step further. Instead of just picking a winner, a point spread indicates by how much a team is expected to win or lose by. For example:
- North Carolina -6.5 (-110)
- Miami FL +6.5 (-110)
In this example, the Tar Heels are favored by 6.5 points, meaning they need to win the game by seven or more to cover the spread. On the other side, Miami would cover the spread should they lose by fewer than seven points or win the game outright. The number marked in parentheses (-110) is the price for each side. Like with money line betting, a bettor would need to wager $110 to win $100 on either side.
Point total (over/under)
The point total (or “over/under”) indicates how many points are expected to be scored between two teams in a game, regardless of the outcome. For example, South Carolina vs. North Carolina has a point total set at 62 points. A successful bet on the over requires both teams to combine for at least 63 points (33-30, 45-20, etc.). A successful bet on the under would need the teams to combine for fewer than 62 points (20-17, 31-30, etc.).
Should the game end 42-20 and the teams combine for exactly 62 points, that’s referred to as a “push.” All original bets are issued back to the bettors. Like with point spreads, prices are offered on either side, typically -110 or -120.
In-play and live betting
Bettors have two options on types of bets they can place: pre-live (before the contest starts), or in-play bets (also known as live bets). The premise is fairly self-explanatory: nearly any bet you can place pre-live – spread, money line, total – can also be placed while a game is ongoing.
Sharp bettors use this to their advantage. Sportsbooks constantly update their odds as a game progresses, which can cause inefficiencies in their numbers. Say, for example, UNC closes as a -3.5 favorite over NC State. The Wolfpack return the opening kickoff for a touchdown then, on the ensuing drive, a tipped pass is picked off by NC State. At this point, UNC may now be a +2.5 underdog live. Since those two quick plays are unlikely to repeat, bettors may lean UNC +2.5 should the Tar Heels otherwise look like they are capable of moving the ball.
However, keep in mind that sportsbooks always have safeguards for live betting. For one, they bypass tape delays to stay a play or a drive ahead. They also implement review periods with bets to ensure they’re a step ahead. Live betting is best practiced during timeouts.
Parlays and teasers
Parlays are multiple straight bets strung together, either pre-live or in-play. A successful parlay requires all legs of the bet to win in order for the parlay to cash out. The positive of parlay betting is that it greatly increases the odds and, thus, the payout. However, it also increases the necessary breakeven rate for each leg of the parlay.
Teasers are similar to parlays, but a bettor may buy or sell points. In football, six-point teasers are most common, with two spreads needing to be teased for odds typically around -120. Teasers may include more than two legs for higher payouts, but two-team teasers are the most common. Take for example a six-point teaser on the following point spreads:
- North Carolina +2.5 at NC State
- Wake Forest +2 at Syracuse
Teasing the spreads by six points would then turn those spreads into UNC +8.5 and Wake Forest +8 with a price of -120. For this teaser to be successful, the Tar Heels would need to lose by eight or fewer (or win outright) and Wake to lose by fewer than eight (or win outright).
North Carolina football FAQ
North Carolina has yet to win their first football National Championship.
UNC has five claimed ACC championships, but none since 1980. The Tar Heels also have an additional three conference championships from the Southern Conference between 1922-49.
With 8.5 projected wins by sportsbooks this season, North Carolina should comfortably be in the bowl conversation. Failing to reach a bowl game would be a disappointing season for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina finished with a 9-5 record in 2022. They lost their final four games, including the ACC Championship against Clemson and Holiday Bowl against Oregon.