Wake Forest vs. North Carolina State (11/5 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.)
Line: Wake Forest -3
Wake Forest vs North Carolina State Breakdown and Betting Odds
The No. 21 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-2) are facing the No. 22 North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-2) Saturday night at 8:00 ET. The Demon Deacons are 3-point favorites. The over/under is set at 54 points.
Since 1996, Wake Forest and NC State have split the matchups almost impossibly evenly. The home team has won all but four matchups. Wake Forest has won four of five, but NC State won the previous three before that. The last two matchups have been 45-42 wins by the home team. At least one team has scored 40 points in three straight matchups, and the last time the teams did not combine for 50 points was in 2016.
Wake Forest Overview
Wake Forest has spent the entire season ranked. Now, they reside at No. 20 in the AP poll and No. 21 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. Last week, they were smashed by Louisville by 27, dropping them out of the top 10. Before the collapse against Louisville, Wake Forest had rolled to a 6-1 start, only dropping a multi-OT game to a still-unbeaten Clemson. While the defense is in the middle of the pack, Wake Forest has the nation’s No. 13 offense.
Sam Hartman has been the center of action in Winston-Salem. He has fired 22 touchdowns with a 63.2% completion rate. The fifth-year junior is among the ACC’s leaders in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and a bevy of rate statistics. Beyond Hartman, Justice Ellison leads the team in rushing with 454 yards. Christian Turner paces the unit with five rushing touchdowns. Hartman’s top two targets have been A.T. Perry and Jahmal Banks who have caught 13 total touchdowns on nearly 1,000 yards of production.
Defensively, the Demon Deacons have had a mediocre unit hurt by a couple of bad performances. They allowed 51 points to Clemson in the aforementioned double-overtime affair, and they allowed 48 points last week to Louisville. On an individual level, Rondell Bothroyd has had a productive season. He has five sacks, and he has swatted three passes. He also has two forced fumbles. Ryan Smenda Jr. is the unit’s leading tackler.
Wake Forest is 4-1 ATS in their last five games. They did drop last week’s game as favorites, but they smashed Boston College and Army as heavy favorites. They eked out a cover against Clemson as 7.5-point underdogs and beat Florida State outright as 5.5-point underdogs. The under is 3-2 in the last five, but the total has been 66 or higher in three of the last four weeks.
North Carolina State Overview
Like Wake Forest, North Carolina State is ranked in both major polls. They are No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. They began the year as the No. 13 team, but a narrow win over East Carolina sent them to No. 18. They bounced back with three straight big wins over FCS Charleston Southern, Texas Tech, and Connecticut. After rising to No. 10 in the country, they lost two of three, failing on the road against Clemson and Syracuse. NC State did knock off Florida State in between, and they beat Virginia Tech last week.
The Wolfpack have been inept offensively in 2022. Despite being ranked the whole season, they are 81st in scoring. As a team, they are completing under 60% of passes, and their rushing unit has only been good for 3.5 yards per carry. Devin Leary is NC State’s leading passer, throwing for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jordan Houston leads the team in carries, but he has been wildly inefficient, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and not scoring on the ground. Demie Sumo has found the end zone four times including three rushing touchdowns. Thayer Thomas leads North Carolina State in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
The Wolfpack have been an elite defense, however, They rank 13th in scoring defense, surrendering just 17.4 points per game. Davin Vann leads the team with 2.5 sacks while Isaiah Moore has chipped in with 7.5 tackles for loss. Aydan White is one of three defenders with multiple interceptions, and he has six total passes defended including a pick-six. North Carolina State is allowing teams to complete just 57.3% of passes.
North Carolina State is 0-5 ATS in their last five games. While they did win three of these games, they failed to cover -38 against Connecticut, -3.5 against Florida State, and -13 against Virginia Tech. In the two games they were single-digit underdogs, North Carolina State lost by multiple scores. The over is 3-2 in the last five, but it was as low as a total of 39.
Free Pick: Wake Forest -3
Historically, the home team has dominated this rivalry, but Wake Forest is the better team. They have the better quarterback, and their defense should be able to keep North Carolina State under wraps. While NC State has one of the best defenses in the country, Wake Forest -3 should be the go-to here, backing Hartman and the Demon Deacons.
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