Oregon vs

North Carolina

at San Diego
Wed, Dec 28
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 249
Odds: North Carolina +14.5, Total: 73.5

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – Over (73.5) – Oregon  46   North Carolina  35

Lean – North Carolina (+14.5)

A compensated points model would project 76.3 total points on this game and my math model would project 76.1 total points before any adjustments are made for player defections or weather. The weather isn’t likely to be an issue (it may rain a bit, but winds are expected to be low) and the players not playing are worth a bit more than 4 points to the over based on my analysis.

Oregon’s offense should have no trouble topping 40 points in this game. The Ducks faced 5 teams that are at least 0.4 yards per play better than average defensively (Georgia, Washington State, Washington, Utah, and Oregon State) and they averaged just 27 points in those games. However, in the other 7 games the Ducks averaged 48.7 points and scored 41 points or more in each of those contests. The average defensive rating of those 7 mediocre to bad defenses was 0.4 yppl better than North Carolina’s season defensive rating and the average pace that those opponents ran their offense was 8.4 total plays per game slower than the offensive pace that North Carolina plays at. Oregon will be without big play WR Dont’e Thornton (366 yards on just 24 targets), which hurts the pass game by 0.2 yppp, which is worth 0.7 points), but the Ducks’ attack is still potent with Bo Nix at quarterback (8.8 yppp against teams that would allow 6.1 yppp to an average QB) and there is a decent chance that the Ducks will exceed 50 points in this game given their 49 points average against mediocre to bad defensive teams they faced and will have more plays in this game than they had in those games.

North Carolina’s defense allowed an average of 445 yards at 6.3 yppl this season while facing teams that would combine to average just 5.4 yppl on offense (adjusted for facing Virginia without their 3 top wide receivers). The unit is likely to be 0.3 points worse without three-quarters of their secondary, as both starting cornerbacks, Grimes and Duck, and safety Kelly, have transferred. North Carolina’s defense is projected to be 2.4 points worse than their season rating based on the 73 plays that Oregon is predicted to run.

North Carolina’s offense can also score points, as the Tarbeels scored 35 points or more in more than half of their games (7 of 13) while averaging 476 total yards per game at 6.5 yards per play (against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team). The loss of leading receiver Josh Downs (heading to the NFL) isn’t really an issue given that Downs averaged 8.6 yards per target while the rest of the Tarheels’ wide receivers combined for 9.7 YPT. North Carolina averaged 49 points in the two games that Downs missed this season while quarterback Drake Maye averaged 9.3 yards per pass play in those games against Appalachian State and Georgia State defenses that would combine to allow 6.6 yppp to an average quarterback. That +2.7 yppp rating without Downs is much better than Maye’s overall rating of +1.3 yppp (7.5 yppp against teams that would allow 6.2 yppp to an average QB). I’m not going to make a positive adjustment to UNC’s offense without Downs but there is certainly a case that I should with Antoine Green and J.J. Jones getting more targets (they have combined for 10.9 YPT on 112 targets; Downs has 120 targets by himself).

Oregon’s defense was 0.3 yppl better than average in the regular season (5.9 yppl allowed to teams that would average 6.2 yppl against an average defense) but they did allow an average of 34.5 points to the best 4 offensive teams that they faced (Georgia, Arizona, UCLA and Washington) and now the Ducks will be without NFL-bound opt-outs CB Christian Gonzalez and DE DJ Johnson. Gonzalez has 19% of the team’s passes defended while Johnson had 38% of the Ducks’ sacks this season. Without Johnson there is nobody to put pressure on Maye (the next highest sack man had just 2.5 sacks) and having more time to throw without lockdown CB Gonzalez should make it easy for Maye to find success in the pass game (7.8 yppp expected) and I project 5.6 yards per rushing play for the Tarheels. I value those two players at 2.6 points towards the total and Oregon’s defense rates at 0.3 yppl worse than average heading into this game. North Carolina averaged 35.0 points against teams that combine to rate at 0.2 yppl better than average and 35 or more points for the Tarheels in this game against a worse than average defense is likely.

My math favors Oregon by 13.4 points with 80.7 total points. The situation favors North Carolina, who applies to a 40-9-3 ATS December bowl big underdog situation. The Over is a borderline Best Bet, but I do think there is more variance in my projection than in a normal game, so I’ll consider the Over a Strong Opinion at 75 points or less.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Oregon
  • North Carolina


  • Run Plays 38.5 27.4
  • Run Yards 222.3 135.7
  • YPRP 5.8 4.9


  • Pass Comp 24.1 23.2
  • Pass Att 33.8 36.0
  • Comp % 71.3% 64.4%
  • Pass Yards 301.2 255.6
  • Sacks 0.3 1.3
  • Sack Yards 1.6 8.6
  • Sack % 1.0% 3.4%
  • Pass Plays 34.1 37.3
  • Net Pass Yards 299.6 247.0
  • YPPP 8.8 6.6


  • Total Plays 72.6 64.7
  • Total Yards 521.8 382.7
  • YPPL 7.2 5.9


  • Int 0.7 1.3
  • Int % 2.0% 3.7%
  • Fumbles 0.3 0.4
  • Turnovers 0.9 1.8
  • Points 39.7 27.4
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