7:33 pm
November 11

North Carolina @ #25 Pittsburgh

Who will WIN this matchup?

North Carolina Tar Heels (5-4)

@ #25 Pittsburgh Panthers (7-2)


Current odds:

North Carolina Tar Heels: (+200)

Pittsburgh Panthers: (-240)


The line for this game is Pittsburgh by 6.5 points.

North Carolina and No. 21 Pittsburgh know all about big point totals. Now they’ll match up against each other for a key game in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

The outcome could have a huge impact on the divisional race. Pittsburgh (7-2, 4-1 ACC) controls its destiny in the division, although another showdown looms against Virginia. North Carolina (5-4, 3-3) can stay in contention with a victory.

The Tar Heels are fresh off a 58-55 comeback victory against then-No. 9 Wake Forest. So they’ll match up with a ranked team for the third week in a row. But the Panthers, who appeared in the first College Football Playoff rankings at No. 25, recovered from a loss to Miami with a convincing triumph against Duke.

Pittsburgh rang up 636 yards of total offense for the sixth-highest total in program history. The Panthers have eclipsed the 600-yard mark twice in the same season for the first time.

This matchup will be ripe with storylines involving North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell and Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.

The Panthers have gone above the 50-point mark in four games this season, the most for any Pittsburgh team since 1905. North Carolina has reached 58 or more points three times.

Howell is North Carolina’s career leader in touchdown passes and passing yardage through 34 games.

The Tar Heels have added a rushing component that has been valuable lately, with Ty Chandler becoming the first Tar Heel to rush for four touchdowns in a game since 1993 when he sliced through Wake Forest’s defense last week.

North Carolina has gone nearly a month without an ACC game, with an open week and then facing Notre Dame and Wake Forest (an ACC member, but it was a non-league game for those teams).

Despite all the positive plays against Duke, there were others that created concerns — particularly allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Pittsburgh had three players out on the offense nursing injuries in the Duke game. Then several other players departed with various ailments.

North Carolina won six straight games in the series until Pittsburgh’s 34-27 victory in 2019. All seven meetings since the Panthers joined the ACC have been decided by seven points or fewer. The divisional foes didn’t meet last year because of a revised pandemic-related schedule.


StreakSmarter Pick
#25 Pittsburgh Panthers