UNC vs South Carolina Duke's Mayo Bowl Odds, Picks and Predictions: Battle of the Carolinas

We've got a clash of the Carolinas in the Duke's Mayo Bowl, as the North Carolina Tar Heels meet the South Carolina Gamecocks in Charlotte. One thing is a lock, and that's plenty of points — read our college football betting picks for more.

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2021 10:22 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Sam Howell North Carolina Tar Heels college football
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It’s the battle between the Carolinas, with the North Carolina Tar Heels set to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in the first game on Thursday's college football bowl game schedule.

It was a bit of a down year for the North Carolina Tar Heels. After early projections suggested North Carolina could win the ACC, the Tar Heels went 6-6 and barely became bowl eligible. 

Meanwhile, South Carolina went 6-6 on the year thanks to a shocking win against Auburn in late November. Still, the Gamecocks have had quarterback problems all year and that figures to continue into this game.

Here are our picks and predictions for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on December 30, at 11:30 a.m. ET between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks.

North Carolina vs South Carolina odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The North Carolina Tar Heels opened as a 5-point favorite and have been bet up to -9.5 at some outlets. Meanwhile, the total hasn’t moved since opening at 58.5. However, you can find a 59 at a couple of outlets.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

North Carolina vs South Carolina predictions

Predictions made on 12/24/2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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North Carolina vs South Carolina game info

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Date: Thursday, December 30, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
TV: ESPN

North Carolina vs South Carolina betting preview

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

North Carolina: No injuries to report.
South Carolina: Jaylin Dickerson DB (Questionable), Luke Doty QB (Out), Dylan Wonnum (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 4-0 in the Gamecocks' last four neutral site games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. Find more NCAA betting trends for North Carolina vs. South Carolina.

North Carolina vs South Carolina picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have never struggled to score points. The Tar Heels averaged 36.4 points per game on the season but also allowed 31.6 points per game. 

If you like offense, you’ll like watching North Carolina. The Tar Heels averaged nearly 480 yards of offense per game with nearly 220 yards rushing. However, defensively, North Carolina gave up 408.1 yards per game. 

The main question here is whether or not South Carolina can score points and keep up with North Carolina. 

The Gamecocks only averaged 21.3 points per game while gaining just 320.4 yards per game. That’s a 150-yard difference between the two teams on offense. 

South Carolina has gone through three quarterbacks this season with Luke Doty and Zeb Noland injured throughout the season. It looks as though Noland will get another shot at starting this game, but against Clemson, Noland went 11-for-22 for 96 yards.

While North Carolina does have a secondary that is beatable, South Carolina likes to run the football, and the reality is the Tar Heels have been much better against the run and clinching tackles this season in comparison to their pass defense.

On the other hand, South Carolina is dominant in the passing game defensively. The Gamecocks are massive, using their front seven to create pressure. The secondary is also extremely solid, part of why the Gamecocks allowed just 178.8 yards per game in the air. 

However, once North Carolina gets the run game going, the passing game will open up for Sam Howell, who finished the season with 23 passing touchdowns and 11 more on the ground. 

Prediction: North Carolina -9 (-110)

You’re not getting value with the spread anymore. North Carolina could’ve been bought for -5 and now it’s at -9. So, if you’re really looking for value in this game, unless you like South Carolina, you’re going to want to bet the total. 

South Carolina, despite having a great defense, allowed 24.3 points per game this season. That’s with a great secondary, a terrific pass rush, and everything in between. So, while South Carolina looks really good defensively, a team like North Carolina can figure out ways to score. 

The Tar Heels scored against teams like North Carolina State, and also found a way to score 34 against Notre Dame. I don’t think North Carolina struggles to score at least five touchdowns in this game. 

If it’s capable of that, then the game is likely moving fast, which means South Carolina could be around that 21-point marker. If South Carolina can find a way against Auburn to score 21, it can easily find a way to score against a really bad North Carolina defense. 

Prediction: Over 58.5 (-110)

In North Carolina games, teams are combining to score an average of 68 points. It’s no coincidence. The offense moves fast and scores fast while the defense struggles to defend.

South Carolina isn’t the best offense and doesn’t even have its starting quarterback around, but all I’m asking from the Gamecocks is for three touchdowns. If South Carolina can get three touchdowns, I’m confident North Carolina can do the rest. 

Pick: Over 58.5 (-110)

College football parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our North Carolina vs. South Carolina picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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