Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Hyundai Bowl Odds - Free ATS Pick
Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso plays host to the Pac-12’s Stanford Cardinal and the ACC’s North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday, Dec. 30 in what should be an interesting battle between the coasts. Kickoff for this season’s Hyundai Sun Bowl has been set for 2 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
Stanford vs. North Carolina Game Overview
The Cardinal closed out their season on a straight-up five-game winning streak while going 3-2 against the spread to finish with a SU record of 9-3 while going 7-5 ATS. The total went OVER in their last three games. Stanford is 6-4 ATS this season when closing as a favorite and it covered in its last four games away from home while scoring an average of 37 points a game.
Stanford’s offense took a huge hit when All-American running back Christian McCaffrey decided to sit this game out to focus his efforts on next year’s NFL Draft. He accounted for the most all-purpose yards in the history of Division IA (FBS) over the past two seasons, so replacing him in this game could be a tall task. Bryce Love was second on the team in rushing with 664 yards on 90 carries as part of a ground game that averaged 5.4 yards a carry.
North Carolina stumbled down the stretch with losses to Duke and NC State in two of its final three games to finish 5-3 in ACC play as part of a SU record of 8-4. The Tar Heels went 7-5 ATS and the total stayed UNDER in seven of their final eight games this year. Their biggest win of the year came against Florida State as 10.5-point road favorites.
The big story for the Tar Heels this season has been the play of junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who many NFL experts believe to be the top quarterback in next year’s draft if he decides to forego his senior year. He is fully committed to playing this game and that could be bad news for Stanford. Trubisky completed 68.9 percent of his 408 passing attempts for 3,468 yards and 28 touchdown throws against just four interceptions. Ryan Switzer was North Carolina’s top receiver with 91 catches for 1,027 yards and five scores.
Stanford vs. North Carolina Game Betting Trends
- The Cardinal are 6-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games and they have covered ATS in their last four games against the ACC. The total has gone OVER in four of their last five games in a postseason bowl.
- The Tar Heels have failed to cover in their last five neutral-site games, but they have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has gone OVER in their last four games against the Pac-12.
- The last time these two teams met was in a late-90’s home-and-home series in which the home team won each game SU. Stanford covered ATS in both meetings and the total went OVER each time.
Stanford Cardinal vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Prediction
The betting line for this game has basically remained unchanged after McCaffrey’s announcement, but I would not underestimate the impact his loss will have in this matchup. Anytime you lose your best player for any reason it could have a negative effect on the psyche of the entire team, especially at the collegiate level.
The Tar Heels still have a few NFL-caliber players in their lineup for this bowl game and that is why I am taking the three points in a game they should win SU.
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