In this edition of Wolfpack Wager, we finally have a low spread on the NC State game, an in-state matchup between two undefeated teams in UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest, and a west coast battle featuring Southern California and BYU. Let’s take a look at the action.
NC State (-6.5) at West Virginia
This line has fluctuated between -6.5 and -7 in favor of the Wolfpack, and that is a big deal. The hook going from a touchdown win covering the spread to being a push should be monitored, but I think the game boils down to two things: West Virginia is a bad offensive team, and NC State is a good defensive team. Despite playing against an FCS school in James Madison and a bad Missouri team, the Mountaineers (0-2) have amassed just 64 rushing yards, and the passing game hasn’t been much better. West Virginia is averaging just 200 passing yards per game and has thrown as many touchdowns (3) as interceptions.
On the Wolfpack side, the defense is allowing less than 25 rushing yards per game and only 163 passing yards per game. Against two bad teams of equal caliber to West Virginia (East Carolina, Western Carolina), the NC State defense has allowed just six points. Furthermore, the Mountaineers are surrendering over 200 rushing yards per game, and the Wolfpack’s committee of ball-carriers just ran for over 300 yards and five touchdowns against WCU. Expect NC State to control the tempo with its ground game and gash a weak West Virginia defense. Expecting NC State to cover a touchdown spread on the road is always risky, but the Wolfpack has outscored opponents by 20.6 points per game in its last 15 noon games. The location won’t matter; the Wolfpack will roll.
The pick: NC State (-6.5)
UNC-Chapel Hill at Wake Forest (Total: 66)
The first over/under bet of Wolfpack Wager should be an easy one. Wake Forest has an electric offense that can score at will and a porous defense that allowed 35 points at home to Utah State. Meanwhile, UNC-Chapel Hill has an offense led by true freshman quarterback Sam Howell, who looks like the real deal with four touchdown passes in wins against two very talented South Carolina and Miami defenses.
The Demon Deacons are an offensive machine, scoring nearly 40 points per game behind quarterback Jamie Newman, who has already thrown for 713 yards and six touchdowns in just two games. Newman and Howell are going to be trading big plays all night long, and on a Friday night between two hyped-up teams, there will be points galore. Take the over and make sure to sit back and watch the fireworks.
The pick: Over 66
Southern California (-3) at BYU
I love this line. Vegas is begging for you to take some free money. Southern California is coming off a 45-20 lambasting of then-No. 23 Stanford, while BYU is just days removed from an emotional overtime upset win over a very bad Tennessee team. The Trojans (2-0) are going to put up points, and the Cougars (1-1) have an anemic offense that mustered just 12 points in a Week 1 loss to Utah and had only 16 points at the end of regulation against Tennessee.
Southern California is going to jump out to a big early lead and never look back. With this line so low in favor of the Trojans, no need to worry about the typical home underdog backdoor cover. Expect a double-digit Trojans victory.
The pick: USC (-3)
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