Syracuse Orange at North Carolina State Wolfpack Pick
Syracuse Orange (3-2) at North Carolina State Wolfpack (3-2)
When: Thursday, October 10, 8 p.m. EDT
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.
Point Spread: NCSU -4.5 (Bookmaker)
Total: O/U 57
Outlook For Week 7
Boy has this season gone horribly wrong for both of these teams. Syracuse was set up to be the true challenger to Clemson this season in the Atlantic Division, but before the Orange could even get to that showdown, Maryland completely exposed the Orange and ripped them to pieces in a 63-20 rout. Things only got worse from there for Syracuse, as not only did Clemson then hammer the Orange 41-6, but Maryland didn’t even prove to be a good team, as the Terrapins were quickly exposed themselves by Temple and Penn State. Syracuse has won two games since over Western Michigan and Holy Cross, but they’ve yet to prove they’re a decent squad.
N.C. State hasn’t been much better. The Wolfpack got exposed by a West Virginia team that had just been taken to the woodshed by Missouri, and since then, they’ve earned a tougher-than-necessary win over a mediocre Ball State squad and got blown out by middling Florida State. The good news for State is that it’s playing at home, where it’s outscored opponents by a combined 109-29, but the best team they’ve played at home is also Ball State.
How the Public is Betting the Appalachian State/Louisiana Game
The line opened at N.C. State -4, pulled back slightly to the Wolfpack giving 3.5 and now has hit 4.5. The total is listed at many sportsbooks at 57 points.
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Defensive lineman Drew Tuazama is suspended for the first half for targeting in the Orange’s previous game against Holy Cross. Defensive lineman Steve Linton is questionable with a foot injury, and defensive back Antwan Cordy is questionable with an unspecified injury. Quarterback Tommy DeVito is likely to play after leaving the Holy Cross game with an arm injury.
Cornerback Taiyon Palmer is out for the season with an undisclosed injury. Tackle Justin Witt also has an unspecified injury and will not play against Syracuse. Quarterback Bailey Hockman injured his knee against Florida State but has been given the start against the Orange.
When Syracuse Has the Ball
The good news for the Orange is that Tommy DeVito will be able to play against N.C. State. Syracuse didn’t want to lean on its running game much in this contest, for a few reasons. First, the Orange aren’t exactly getting great production out of Moe Neal and Abdul Adams. Second, the Wolfpack, for all of their flaws, are quite adept at stopping the run. State gives up just 71.8 yards per game, which ranks eighth in the nation and second in the ACC.
That’s fine with the Orange, who plan to let DeVito attack a weak State secondary and try to hit Trishton Jackson and Taj Harris for the big play. DeVito is excellent at spreading the ball around and will use Neal out of the backfield as a pass-catching weapon, which could spell disaster for a Wolfpack pass defense that hasn’t shown signs of stopping quality offenses.
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When N.C. State Has the Ball
Apparently, it’s time for a change in Raleigh, as Matthew McKay is out after four games of mediocre play, and Bailey Hockman is in. State fans seem pleased about the move, but Hockman wasn’t much better as the signal-caller than McKay was. He did lead the only touchdown drive against the Seminoles, but that’s not exactly something to write home about, as Florida State has been a sieve all season long.
With Hockman under center, a mediocre running game will have to shoulder more of the load unless he proves he can do more than what he showed in Tallahassee. Zonovan Knight has been the main man in the backfield for the Wolfpack, but 293 yards in five games really isn’t getting it done. The Wolfpack might try Jordan Houston, who has averaged 7.1 yards per carry, a bit more against Syracuse, which has allowed 158 yards a game on the ground.
Syracuse might be struggling, but the Orange have done reasonably well for themselves when they’ve gone on the road. Over their past 14 trips away from the Carrier Dome, the Orange are a credible 10-4 ATS, and they’re 4-1 ATS against ACC opponents. There are other trends working in their favor in this series, as the underdog is 7-1 ATS in their past eight meetings, and the road team is 5-1 ATS in the past six.
There isn’t much to like about State’s recent trends. The Wolfpack are 2-6 ATS in their past eight conference games, 0-4 ATS overall, and 0-4 ATS in October. But they do have one thing going for them under Dave Doeren: they’re 21-6 ATS when they’re coming off a bye week.
As far as the total goes, your best bet here has been the under: it’s 5-2 in the past seven matchups between the squads, and it’s 18-1-1 in the previous 20 Thursday games involving the Wolfpack.
It’s going to be a perfect night for football in the Research Triangle, with temperatures projected to hit 74 degrees.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
I don’t really like either of these teams, but I’ve got more to like about Syracuse. The Orange have the more stable quarterback situation, and they seem to be moving in the right direction after the past two weeks. Granted, Western Michigan and Holy Cross aren’t exactly world-beaters, but neither is Florida State and N.C. State wasn’t even close to winning that one.
Throw in that the Wolfpack are in turmoil with their quarterback and that Hockman didn’t exactly show much against a Seminoles defense that Louisiana-Monroe shredded for 44 points, and I’m not really sure why State is favored in this game. I’ll gladly take the 4.5 points with Syracuse in this contest. If you’ve had a rough start and blown out your balance, instead of re-depositing and not getting rewarded, you might want to consider taking advantage of a 100% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at MyBookie. Check out our MyBookie Review to get a better feel for what they have to offer.
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