15* UNC/Virginia ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Virginia +3.5
North Carolina vs. Virginia,
11/15/2012 19:30 EDT,
Score: 37 - 13
Point Spread: +3½/-110 Virginia
While the Cavaliers are just 4-6 on the season, there’s no question that this team is better than their record would indicate. They have shown that over the last few weeks with a 33-6 win at NC State, and a 41-40 home victory over Miami. This team is feeling good about itself heading into Thursday’s contest with UNC.
One look at the numbers and it’s easy to see that Virginia isn’t such a bad team after all. The Cavaliers rank 46th in the country in total offense at 419.1 yards per game, and 32nd in total defense at 349.1 yards per game. They are outgaining opponents by 70 yards per game, which is a number more indicative of a team with a winning record than one that is 4-6. Virginia has simply beaten itself with turnovers this year.
The Tar Heels have lost two of their last three and could find it hard to be motivated to play these last two games. While they would normally be bowl eligible with six wins on the year, this team is serving a postseason ban and won’t be able to play in a bowl game. That has to be hard on the players knowing they have nothing to play for the rest of the way, and that may have started to show last week in a 50-68 home loss to Georgia Tech.
Virginia did lose 17-28 at North Carolina last season, but it arguably beat itself. It outgained the Tar Heels 468-401 for the game, gaining 170 yards on the ground and 298 through the air. However, the Cavaliers gave away that game by committing three turnovers.
The Cavaliers are 9-1 SU and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home meetings with UNC. The Tar Heels are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. UNC is 0-6 ATS in road games after playing a game at home over the last 2 seasons. These three trends combine for a 20-1 (95%) system backing the Cavaliers. Take Virgina Thursday.