(109) Wake Forest vs. NC State (110)
PICK: bwin @ 17.5 WAKE (-120)
DATE: November 8, 2018 - 7:30 PM
STAR RATING: 8.0
EXPERT: Power Sports
EVALUATION: Win (800) - Final Score WAKE 27 at NCST 23
8* Wake Forest (7:30 ET): I don't believe for a second that North Carolina State is the 14th best team in the country entering this weekend. In fact, I don't even count the Wolfpack among my top 40 teams in the country! That rationale is the basis for this Thursday night ACC play as Wake Forest comes calling to Raleigh. Now I'm not particularly high on the Demon Deacons either. But this is a generous pointspread for a team that generally competes hard for HC Dave Clawson. NC State is likely still reveling in last week's 47-28 beatdown of Florida State, which isn't all that impressive (the Seminoles are BAD), but still meant a lot to the program. Wake is only 1-5 ATS as a dog TY, but had previously gone 11-2 in that role. They also beat NC State last year, 30-24 in Winston-Salem.
I have to say that I'm a bit surprised to see NC State at 6-2 on the year. Granted, the West Virginia game getting cancelled (Hurricane Florence) probably helped considering that would have been a likely loss to the Mountaineers. My regulars will recall the Wolfpack were an easy fade (for me) when they squared off against #2 Clemson in a battle of unbeatens. The market "tipped its hand" by installing NC State as large underdogs in that one (closed +18.5), but it still wasn't enough in an embarrassing 41-7 loss. Now, this isn't Clemson that they're facing this week. But be aware that last week was the team's first win by more than 17 points since beating a terrible Georgia State team 41-7 back in Week 2. This will be their 1st time as DD chalk since that game.
NC State came in ranked (#25) for LY's meeting w/ Wake as well. The upset marked the third straight year the Demon Deacons beat a ranked team. They're 0-3 SU in such situations in 2018 and this is probably their last time facing a Top 25 team. They also need to win two of the final three games in order to be bowl eligible. Clawson is faced w/ a QB dilemma here as starter Sam Hartman is out for the rest of the regular season w/ a leg injury. So it will either be Kendall Hinton (who has previous starting experience) or redshirt soph Jamie Newman under center for this game. Maybe that doesn't sound ideal, but recall that the Demon Deacons were w/o their best offensive player (WR Greg Dortsch) when they upset the Wolfpack. I just don't like the idea of laying so many points w/ NC State. 8* Wake Forest