North Carolina vs Baylor Pick
2015 Russell Athletic Bowl Preview
Two high-octane offenses will meet for the first time in the Russell Athletic Bowl. No. 10 North Carolina finished the regular season with an 11-2 record and is making its 32nd bowl appearance. Injury-plagued No. 17 Baylor, which is making its sixth straight bowl appearance, scuffled down the stretch by losing three of its final four games.
Players to watch
Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams broke his own single-season school record for rushing yards with 867 yards this season. The senior has thrown 21 touchdowns this season and has 94 total career touchdowns, which ranks third all-time in ACC history.
Bears third-string quarterback Chris Johnson will make his third straight start. The electric sophomore only threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another score but his immense athletic ability is something the Tar Heels must gameplan for.
North Carolina’s school-record 11-game winning streak was snapped by Clemson in the ACC Championship game on Dec. 5.
The Tar Heels are 6-2 when scoring first and have led after the first quarter in each of their last five games.
North Carolina running back Elijah Hood has 1,345 rushing yards and 17 rushing scores this season – the third-most in a single season in school history.
Baylor is 2-3 in its last five bowl games.
Baylor is 1-2 this season in games decided by 7 points or less.
The Bears lead the country with 42 touchdown drives of 2 minutes or less.
Baylor has topped 400 yards of offense in a nation-best 59 of its last 64 games.
The Bears will be without star wide receiver Corey Coleman (hernia), quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham (heel) and Seth Russell (neck) and starting running back Shock Linwood (foot surgery).
Tar Heels vs Bears Betting Trends
Team record: 11-2 SU,8-5 ATS
North Carolina is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
North Carolina is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of North Carolina’s last 5 games
Team record: 9-3 SU,5-7 ATS
Baylor is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
Baylor is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Baylor’s last 6 games
North Carolina vs Baylor Prediction
There is a reason Baylor is not playing in a New Years day game. Not only did injuries ruin the season but they also made this team less attractive to ESPN & the viewers. Baylor will still be able to score some points but the offense will not be able to overcome a mediocre defense. North Carolina is a high scoring team in its own right and this is a perfect showcase for the Tar Heels.