NC State vs. Clemson Betting Side & Total Pick

by | Sep 28, 2022 | cfb

North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Clemson Tigers (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS)
When: Saturday, October 1, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
TV: ABC

Point Spread: NCSU +6.5/CLEM -6.5
Total: O/U 40

Outlook

After facing defense-optional Wake Forest a week ago, Clemson now finds itself in the complete opposite situation against N.C. State in another Atlantic Division battle. The Tigers can all but end the divisional race (unless Florida State has something to say about it) by getting a win here, as they’ll have already bested the two strongest teams on their ACC schedule with only five ACC games left on the slate.

But there’s no guarantee the Tigers can do enough against the Wolfpack defense, given that State is holding teams to very weak outputs week after week. The Wolfpack did play a relatively soft slate to open the year, but Texas Tech’s proven to be a worthy foe, and East Carolina is always tough to beat in Greenville. Plus, N.C. State seems to get Clemson at the right time: not angry after a loss and not extra focused on getting a win here. The Tigers still do badly need a win, as they probably must go undefeated to reach the playoff, but a loss to Wake Forest would have had their attention entirely focused on getting a win here. That’s not the case any longer, and the question now becomes whether the Tigers remember their defeat at State’s hands last year. Clemson regularly dominates this series, but N.C. State has never had a better shot to go to Clemson and finally end this streak.

How the Public is Betting the N.C. State/Clemson Game

The public and the cash seems to be on the same side in this situation, as 61% of tickets have come in on N.C. State and the line has fallen from the crucial number of -7 to -6.5. The total has drastically fallen, dropping from 46 to 40.5.

Injury Concerns

N.C. State:
Running back Jordan Houston (head) is questionable. Tight end Trent Pennix (arm) is out.

Clemson:
Defensive end Justin Foster (undisclosed) is questionable. Defensive end Xavier Thomas (foot) and wide receiver Troy Stellato (knee) are out.

When N.C. State Has the Ball

Devin Leary really didn’t have any issues throwing the ball over what was supposed to be a top-quality Clemson defense a year ago, going for four touchdowns against the Tigers and leading the Wolfpack to the upset of their Textile Bowl rivals. But can he do it again? Early returns say yes despite a shaky debut to the season at East Carolina. Leary has been very accurate with the football to this point in the season, tossing for 890 yards and nine touchdowns against just two interceptions.
And against Clemson, throwing the ball accurately is what you need to do to win. The Tigers just haven’t done enough on defense to slow down good passing offenses, which is why they’re giving up 21.8 points per game. Maybe the defense has regressed from last year, and maybe it’s just not the same minus Brent Venables, but for whatever reason, you can throw on this Clemson team.
Running the ball might not be so easy, but running the ball isn’t really the top option for State. The Wolfpack can move the ball on the ground with Demie Sumo-Karngbaye and possibly Jordan Houston (if he’s healthy), but State really prefers to try to let Leary figure it out through the air as its top option and sprinkle in runs to keep the defense honest. After watching Wake Forest torch Clemson for 45 points, the Wolfpack might lean heavily toward the pass.

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When Clemson Has the Ball

So now we’ve seen D.J. Uiagalelei attack well enough for his team to win a game. The new question with the Tigers’ offense is can Uiagalelei attack well enough to win against a defense that doesn’t suck. Wake Forest might have forced Clemson to score 51 points to win last week, but the Tigers still have yet to show that the offense can actually do the job against a quality defense. Wake Forest is completely defense-optional, and the rest of the schedule simply isn’t anywhere close to the level of N.C. State’s defense.
The Tigers will try to attack the Wolfpack with Will Shipley on the ground, but there’s no guarantee that’s going to work against a State defense that held Shipley to just 3.3 yards per carry last season. Only Georgia did a better job of stopping Shipley, as State made sure to focus on making Uiagalelei beat it. The quarterback appears to have made a lot of progress since last year, but he’s also yet to face a competent defense at any point. How will he handle things if the Clemson running game goes nowhere?

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Betting Trends

There’s a reason the total is this low, and it’s because State and Clemson do not put up a lot of points in Death Valley. The under has cashed in six of the teams’ past seven meetings in South Carolina, and the Wolfpack have covered in five of those contests. State’s also proven to be a great option when coming off a spread loss, having covered in six straight games after an ATS defeat the previous game.
Meanwhile, Clemson remains a betting nightmare. The Tigers are a mere 2-8 ATS in their last ten home games and just 1-5 ATS in their past six in October. This happens almost every time with Clemson: the public pushes the Tigers into giving too many points.

Weather Report

These teams are kind of stuck here if they want to get this game played. With Hurricane Ian now heading toward the Upstate, pretty much all of South Carolina is going to get crushed by the remnants of the storm after Florida bears the brunt of it. If the game stays as scheduled, these teams will be playing in a driving rainstorm, with 59-degree temperatures and up to an inch of rain possible. Oh, and winds will blow at 14 miles per hour east-northeast.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

With terrible weather and two defensive teams on the field in this one, this might really be a case of the first one to 10 wins. These are good defensive squads, but State has proven itself against better competition and does seem to have a more reliable offense when things go wrong.
In a situation like this, the under is the play, but the spread play here is to grab the points. Give me N.C. State.