College Football Predictions: Advice for Betting on North Carolina Tar Heels
by Trevor Whenham - 9/9/2010
North Carolina’s football program is a total mess right now. Like the biggest mess we’ve seen in a long while. USC is on probation, and too many schools to count are under investigation for a number of reasons, but none are facing issues as diverse and widespread as the Tar Heels. Things are really, really bad, and it’s a fair bit that they are going to get worse. Bettors who like college football will have to consider this entire scandal and what opportunities it presents.
Before we look at what bettors need to keep in mind, let’s do a quick recap of the situation for those not keeping up. It all started with defensive tackle Marvin Austin, a guy widely thought to be North Carolina’s best player. Austin made a trip to South Beach in May, and it appears likely that the trip was paid for by an agent or his representatives. The NCAA came to Chapel Hill to investigate this incident and other cases of inappropriate contact with agents. They interviewed 13 players initially, and that probe is ongoing. The first fallout from that was the sudden departure from the team of Coach John Blake. Blake coached the defensive line and was in charge of recruiting. Before joining UNC he had worked for agent Gary Wichard. It seems likely that Blake’s relationship with Wichard had continued inappropriately, and had involved contact with players.
While UNC was dealing with that issue internally they uncovered another, perhaps more serious issue that they reported to the NCAA. It appears that a number of players - including Austin - had papers written by a tutor and then submitted them as their own. To add to the ugliness on this story, the tutor is one that Butch Davis had previously hired for his own son. It’s hard to accept that Davis was unaware of what was going on.
As a result of the situations, 13 players including five starters on defense, did not make the trip to Atlanta for the team’s opener against LSU. All of the players except Austin have returned to practice, though they haven’t yet been given the green light to return to the lineup. Austin further antagonized the school by traveling to the game him self to sit very publicly in the stands. Given the depth of his involvement is both scandals and his subsequent attitude it seems like a good bet that he won’t play again this year.
So, what does this all mean for bettors? Here are four thoughts and some college football predictions:
1. Defensive line depth - Austin is likely gone. Given Blake’s involvement it seems likely that other linemen were involved - and a few have been prominently named. The defensive line for the Tar Heels was a real strength heading into this season, but it has already been handicapped, and it seems likely that it will be even more so down the stretch. On top of that the unit’s coach is gone. The defensive line capabilities of this team are a huge question mark.
2. Recruiting - Blake’s departure and the clouds of a possible (and even likely) probation will have a big impact on recruiting in coming years. It already has as some top recruits have hedged on their commitment to the Tar Heels. Recruiting obviously doesn’t have a direct impact on this year, but it can’t help but affect the tram this year. When a team is signing the big name players it gives the current team more swagger, while an exodus of talent will further erode the confidence of the current team. Recruiting is so heavily scrutinized these days that this impact can’t be underestimated.
3. Davis - Butch Davis has to get fired. There is really no way around it. Not one but two fairly major scandals have erupted at about the same time. And both biol down to - at the very least - to a total lack of oversight by the coach. It goes deeper than that for Davis. First, he was stupid enough to hire a guy who was very tight with a somewhat shady agent to run his recruiting. Then, his relationship with the tutor make his claims of total unawareness of that situation all but impossible to believe. His days have to be numbered. That’s of interest in itself to bettors, but more significant even is the fact that his lack of long term stability will make it much easier for players to tune him out. Players - especially those not involved in either situation - have to resent that Davis has let this happen to their team, and if things start to go even a little poorly for the team then that resentment could easily turn into contempt. I would guess, then, that if things start to get rough for this team on the field they could quickly get very rough.
4. Overreaction - Like so many situations in sports betting it would be easy to overreact to this situation. Even with everything swirling around them last week the Tar Heels put forth a very admirable effort. They passed far better than they were expected to, they didn’t get totally run over by the Tigers for the most part, and they had a very legitimate shot to win it in the final minute.It’s possible - and perhaps even likely - that the on-field impact of this situation could be far less than what would seem possible.
Most Recent College Football Handicapping
- Bowl Game Schedule - College Football Bowl Schedules for 2019-2020
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Big Bowl Game Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Bowl Game Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Championship Week Opening Line Report and Picks
- College and NFL Football Biggest Line Moves for Dec. 12-13
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 15 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 14 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 13 Opening Line Report and Picks
- NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 12 Opening Line Report and Picks
- College and NFL Football Biggest Line Moves for Nov. 14-15