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North Carolina @ Temple
Current Records: North Carolina 6-6; Temple 8-4
The Temple Owls and the North Carolina Tar Heels have had some time off and are no doubt ready to hit the field. Temple and UNC will compete for holiday cheer in the Military Bowl on Friday at Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at noon ET test. Both teams are strolling into their contest after big wins in their previous games.
The Owls' and the Connecticut Huskies' matchup four weeks ago was close at halftime, but the Owls turned on the heat in the second half with 35 points. The Owls were the clear victors by a 49-17 margin over UConn. Temple's success was spearheaded by the efforts of WR Branden Mack, who caught five passes for two TDs and 171 yards, and QB Anthony Russo, who passed for two TDs and 247 passing yards on 23 attempts in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown. Near the top of the highlight reel was Russo's 63-yard TD bomb to Mack in the first quarter.
Temple's defense was a presence as well, and it made life painful for the quarterback and got past UConn's offensive line for a total of four sacks for a loss of 24 yards. Leading the way was DE Quincy Roche and his two sacks. Roche now has 13 sacks through Week 14.
Meanwhile, UNC ran circles around the NC State Wolfpack four weeks ago, and the extra yardage (600 yards vs. 288 yards) paid off. UNC blew past NC State 41-10. RB Javonte Williams was the offensive standout of the game for the Tar Heels, punching in two rushing touchdowns in addition to snatching one receiving TD. Williams didn't help his team much against the Mercer Bears five weeks ago, so this was a nice turnaround for him. Williams' sharp performance set his single-game rushing touchdown high for the season.
The Owls are expected to lose this next one by 5.5. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread, however, as they are currently on a four-game streak of ATS wins.
Their wins bumped the Owls to 8-4 and the Tar Heels to 6-6. We'll see which team can carry over their success and which team inevitably falls when the Owls and UNC clash.
Where: Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium -- Annapolis, Maryland
Follow: CBS Sports App
The Tar Heels are a solid 5.5-point favorite against the Owls, according to the latest college football odds.
Vegas was right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 5.5-point spread, and stayed right there.
See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine's advanced computer model. Get picks now.
This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last four years.
The North Carolina Tar Heels will try to end the season with a winning record for the first time since 2016 when they take on the Temple Owls in the 2019 Military Bowl on Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. After going 8-5 in 2016, North Carolina went 3-9 in 2017 and 2-9 last season. This year, with coach Mack Brown back at the helm, the Tar Heels (6-6) have been one of the surprise teams in college football and are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite. Meanwhile, the Owls (8-4) finished in third place in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference. Kickoff is noon ET.
The Tar Heels are 5.5-point favorites in the latest North Carolina vs. Temple odds after the line dropped as low as 4.5, while the over-under for total points scored is 53.5. Before you make any Manchester City vs Sheffield picks or 2019 Military Bowl predictions of your own, you need to hear what SportsLine's resident Tar Heels expert, Emory Hunt, has to say.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007, and a former running back at Louisiana-Lafayette. He knows the game from a player's perspective.
The football analyst has been SportsLine's No. 1 college football expert this season. Hunt has a 97-59 record with his college football picks, returning a whopping profit of $3,288 to his followers. In addition, he has his finger on North Carolina's pulse. He is 11-1 on his last 12 against-the-spread picks involving the Tar Heels, and anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hunt has zeroed in on North Carolina vs. Temple. You can go to SportsLine to see it. Now, here are the college football odds and trends for North Carolina vs. Temple:
North Carolina vs. Temple spread: Tar Heels -5.5
North Carolina vs. Temple over-under: 53.5 points
North Carolina vs. Temple money line: Tar Heels -225, Owls +183
UNC: LB Chazz Surratt leads the ACC in tackles (110)
TEM: DE Quincy Roche ranks sixth in the nation in sacks (13)
Hunt knows that Temple's defense has been vulnerable to big plays through the air this season. In fact, the Owls have given up 104 passing plays of 10 or more yards. That bodes well for North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell and the Tar Heels, who average 14.3 yards per completion, the 17th-best mark in the country.
In addition, Hunt has factored in that Temple's defense has occasionally struggled against the run. In five games against winning FBS teams, the Owls have given up 215.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks 102nd. That could spell good news for North Carolina tailbacks Michael Carter, Javonte Williams and Antonio Williams, who have rushed for 919, 848 and 306 yards, respectively.
But just because the Tar Heels appear to have the edge on paper does not guarantee they will cover the North Carolina vs. Temple spread in the Military Bowl 2019.
The Owls have effective at getting to the quarterback this season. They average 3.25 sacks per game, tied for 10th in the country. The unit is led by defensive end Quincy Roche, the AAC Defensive Player of the Year who leads the conference and ranks sixth in the nation in sacks (13).
In addition, Temple will force North Carolina to prepare for two quarterbacks. Both Anthony Russo and Todd Centeio will play for the Owls. Centeio is a dual-threat playmaker who comes off the bench for a handful of snaps and will face a Tar Heels defense that has struggled at times this season against running quarterbacks. Virginia Tech's Quincy Patterson II and Virginia's Bryce Perkins rushed for 122 and 112 yards, respectively, against North Carolina.
We can tell you Hunt is leaning under, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He's found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard. He's sharing what it is, and who to back, only at SportsLine.
Who wins Temple vs. UNC in the Military Bowl 2019? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Manchester City vs Sheffield spread you should be all over, all from the expert who is up almost $3,300 on college football picks this season.
The ACC may have been the worst overall Power Five conference in 2019, but few individual teams matched the week-by-week intensity of North Carolina; on the regular, the Tar Heels were one of the most thrilling teams to watch. Now, they will finish their season against a quality Temple team that will try to notch its third win against a Power Five team this year.
How will these pair of surprising teams finish their season? Let's take a closer look at the matchup and storylines to follow before making some expert picks both straight up and against the spread.