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Louisville Cardinals vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack Odds - Free Pick

No. 17 Louisville Cardinals (4-1 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. No. 24 North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-1 SU, 4-0 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Thursday October 5th, 2017. 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, N.C.
TV: ESPN
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: LOU -3.5/NCSU +3.5
Over/Under Total: TBA

Last week all eyes were on the ACC as ESPN GameDay shined its light on Clemson and Virginia Tech in a premier showdown highlighting week 5 of the college football season. This week the ACC will take center stage again to kick off week 6 when the no. 17 Louisville Cardinals travel into Raleigh to battle the no. 24 NC State Wolfpack in front of a nationally televised audience. Despite the 4-1 SU mark, the Wolfpack are 2-0 in conference play and a win could set the stage for a showdown with Clemson on November 4th with ACC Championship implications on the line.

At 4-1 SU, Louisville is also still alive in the hunt for an ACC Championship but due to their loss against Clemson they would need a lot more help. Since that loss to Clemson, the Cardinals have had the pleasure of beating up on the likes of Kent Stat and Murray in recent weeks. The Cardinals outscore both combined teams by a score of 97-13. Obviously things will be much tougher this Thursday against a Wolfpack team that plays well on both sides of the football. Perhaps the biggest challenge in this particular matchup will be Louisville’s ability to protect star quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson has had a strong year throwing for 1,636 yards with 13 scores and 3 picks while rushing for another 437 yards with 5 scores. The numbers have been solid but those numbers can be misleading to a degree as well. The Cardinals have struggled upfront to protect which has often caused Jackson to make plays rolling outside of the pocket. In theory that may not sound bad because Jackson is an electric player in space. Still, the problems lie within the breakdowns on the offensive front and those concerns will be at the forefront of this Thursday’s matchup because NC State has the best defensive line in the ACC outside of Clemson who in my opinion has the best defensive group in the FBS.

Therefore, I am sure that Jackson is going to be pressured in this game. If the Wolfpack can keep pressure consistently and stay discipline, this is a matchup they can win on some occasions. Louisville is going to score points but this game will be about damage control. The Wolfpack offense has the weapons to challenge as well which could present a shootout scenario if the defense cannot get stops. The Cardinals defense has been very concerning throughout their opening games giving up point totals of 28 to Purdue, 35 to North Carolina, and 47 in the loss to Clemson.

The point totals given up by the Cardinals defense alone is not reason to panic especially considering the fast tempo of the Louisville offense which creates extra possessions for opposing teams. However, I do think a big concern for the Cardinals defense lies in their inability to defend the pass. The Cardinals defense has been pretty bad which opens the door for Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley. Finley has hit 71% of his passes this year for 1,403 yards with 9 touchdowns and 0 picks. Additionally, TE Jaylen Samuels has proven to be a difficult target to defend in critical situations. Samuels already has 43 catches for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns from the tight end position among a receiving corps that is very talented. NC State’s defense has to do their part. If they do, this offense will have every opportunity to win the game outright.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I hate betting against great players like Lamar Jackson but I think NC State is the better team. If the NC State defense does their job and prevents Jackson from having a huge performance like he did against North Carolina, I like the Wolfpack’s ability to keep the pressure on the Louisville defense and score points. Take NC State +3.5 - Not all sportsbooks are created equal! Many are fly by night, poorly run and your loot is actually at risk. End that problem today by signing up at one of the web's oldest and most trusted sportsbooks! Online for over 15 years, your credit card will work and you'll also receive a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at Bovada Sportsbook!

NCAA Football Week 8 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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