NCAA Football: Virginia Cavaliers vs North Carolina Tar Heels Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/18/2021

by James Q

NCAA Football: Virginia Cavaliers vs North Carolina Tar Heels Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/18/2021

Game Time: 7:30 pm ET, Saturday, September 18th, 2021 
Venue: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Where to Watch: ACCN

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: UNC -7.5:  O/U: 65.5
BetMGM:  Spread:  UNC -8:  O/U:  66
Caesars:  Spread: UNC -8:  O/U: 66.5

Season Record

North Carolina:  1-1, 01- ACC
Virginia:  2-0, 0-0 ACC

North Carolina began the season with a loss to Virginia Tech and a win over Georgia State. They are ranked #21 in the nation may be based on the perceived strength of Virginia Tech.  

Virginia scheduled two cupcakes to start the season and got wins over William & Mary and Illinois.  They racked up 85 points in the two games combined.  They gave up 14.  They are not ranked.

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Offensive Analysis 

In the course of punching down  Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong has amassed 744 yards on 48-67 passing, 7 TD’s, 1 INT.  71.6% completion rate and 196.4 RTG.  It has all been smooth sailing. 8 different runners have had the rock for more than 2 carries, 4 of whom were QB’s, during the two games.  The top RB is Wayne Taulapapa who has 83 yards on 15 carries. QB’s Keytaon Thompson, Iraken Armstead, Jacob Rodriguez and our passing star Brennan Armstrong all have tried designed run plays.  744 passing yards got around to a lot of receivers chief among them Dontayvion Wicks with 7 catches for 163 yards, 4 others have over a hundred yards receiving after just two games:  QB Keytaon Thompson (yes also a receiver), TE Jelani Woods, WR Billy Kemp IV, and WR Ra’Shaun Henry.  

North Carolina QB Sam Howell struggled in the opener but regained his form in game 2.  Over that stretch he has amassed 560 yards passing on 38-61 passes with 4 TD and 3 Interceptions.  Sam Howell is also the teams leading rusher with 24 carries netting 139 yards and 2 TD’s.  He does have a RB though, and he is Ty Chandler 25 carries for 124 yards 1 TD.  WR Josh Downs had an amazing first 2 games bringing in 16 catches for 196 yards and 2 TD’s.  He is joined by Mr. Electricity WR Antoine Green who had 137 yards on 5 catches…. (That’s 27.4 yards per catch!) and Emory Simmons who racked up 119 yards on 6 catches 1 TD.  They have 9 touchdowns and 2 field goals in 2 games.

Defensive Analysis

Virgina is giving up 7 points a game.  That’s it.  Of course they haven’t played anyone of any quality so we have an idea that the defense isn't all that it seems.  

North Carolina struggled in game 1 but they only gave up 17 points.  They blew out Georgia State in game 2  and in the process gave up 17 points.  Win or lose this is a team that is stuck on giving up 17 points.


Cavaliers vs Tar Heel Prediction 

Our prediction for Saturday, September 18th is…. North Carolina 38 - Virginia 35


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NCAAF Betting Trends

In six years under Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia is 8-22 on the road.
Virginia has beat UNC the last four meetings.

Key Injuries

  UNC:  DeAndre Hollins,  Ethan West,  Beau Corrales
Virginia: N/A

Players to Watch

Virginia:  Jelani Woods.  Against a stronger defense than they have dared yet to face,  the wide-outs won’t look as quick, the quarterbacks won’t have an everlasting pocket… but Jelani the 6 '7 TE won’t be getting any smaller. A big target with good hands tends to work against almost everyone.

UNC:  QB Sam Howell.  He flat out has to be better than Brennan Armstong.  It’s a fireworks show if both offenses get rolling and the winner will be the QB that outshoots the other. 

Notable Quotes

"I told them it's important to our program,...But at the same time, it's about us. It's not about who we play. We've got to play better." -UNC head coach Mack Brown.

Starting Lineups

Virginia:  QB Brennan Armstrong, RB Wayne Taulapapa, TE Jelani Woods, WR Dontayvion Wicks, WR Ra’Shaun Henry, WR Billy Kemp, FB Keytaon Thompson

UNC:  QB Sam Howell, RB Ty Chandler, TE Garrett Wilson, WR Emery Simmons, WR Antoine Green, WR Josh Downs


Statistical Leaders 

Passing: Brennan Armstrong  744 yards
Rushing: Wayne Taulapapa 83 yards
Receiving:  Dontayvion Wicks  163 yards
Tackles:  Nick Larson 19 
Interceptions:  Anthony Johnson  1

Passing:  Sam Howell 560 yards
Rushing:  Sam Howell  139 yards
Receiving:  Josh Downs  196
Tackles:  JaQurious Conley  12
Interceptions: Power Echols  1 



North Carolina:  Mack Brown
Virginia: Bronco Mendenhall

Weather Forecast 

Partly Cloudy.  86*   Humidity 70%.  


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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