Over/Under 7 Wins () vs North Carolina State Wolfpack ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : James Madison Dukes vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack 12:00 PM
Location : Carter-Finley Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 7 Wins vs North Carolina State Wolfpack
NC State has grown into the better football program when talking North Carolina schools and they showed that last season as the Wolfpack finished 8-4 with a Sun Bowl victory over Arizona State. Dave Doeren has established a winning culture at NC State and he will be seeking his 5th consecutive bowl appearance this season. Doeren returns one of the best Quarterbacks in college football but they will need to find some playmakers on defense as they are replacing 8 starters including the ACC defensive player of the year, Bradley Chubb. Although Doeren lost a ton of starters from 2017 he showed how good of a program NC State has become as they had 7 different guys drafted to an NFL team. The offense will have to shoulder most of the load this season which they are capable of doing hence their 52 point performance in the Sun Bowl. Doeren did a really good job on the recruiting trail as he was able to keep some of North Carolina’s finest in-state. NC State was able to receive the 4th best LB in the nation in Payton Wilson as well as the #4 RB in Rickey Person who could step into a starting role this season. NC State may have lost a ton of talent from last season but don’t expect Doeren to fall out of the top half of the ACC Atlantic division.
Over/Under 7 Wins's Latest Performance :
NC State experienced one of their best seasons in the history of the football program as they finished inside the top 25 for only the 3rd time in the last 20 seasons. NC State returns a veteran QB and receiving corp but the problem resides on the defensive side of the ball where they lost 8 guys. Dave Doeren is a good coach which was taken into account when oddsmakers set the over/under at 7 wins which if it hits the over, it will match last seasons production.
NC State did themselves no favors on their non-conference schedule this season as they will see some tough opponents to begin the season. Typically an FCS matchup is desired for power 5 schools but this season the Wolfpack will open their season against James Madison who made the FCS championship game. Although the Wolfpack should beat James Madison it will be a testament to their defense who could lose all the confidence in the world given a shredding from the JMU offense. NC State will also host a playoff darkhorse in the West Virginia Mountaineers who return one of the best 1-2 punches in football at the QB and WR position. Another team who can possibly give NC State fits is Conference USA foe in the Marshall Thundering Hurd as they will meet at Marshall this season. NC State will have a tough ACC road matchup as they will have to travel to Clemson on 10/20 but they do get to host FSU at the beginning of November which could potentially decide the 2nd spot in the ACC Atlantic division.
North Carolina State Wolfpack's Latest Performance :
If you look at 90% of the top teams in college football they are often led by a good QB, luckily for the Wolfpack, they should be set up for success considering they have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Ryan Finley could have put his name into the 2017 draft and been drafted at a really good spot but the redshirt senior elected to come back for another year and finish what he started. Finley was a huge contributor in the Wolfpacks success last season as he compiled over 3514 passing yards in 2017 but he was also really good in not turning the ball over as he had 6 interceptions. The loss will be felt at the running back position as NC State saw their two best running backs leave for the NFL draft in Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels who combined for 24 rushing touchdowns last season. This is where 4-star freshmen Ricky Person comes in as Doeren did enough to convince the running back to come to NC State rather than going to Michigan State or South Carolina. The receivers will play a big role in the success of NC State as they bring back 3 of their 4 500+ yard pass catchers from 2017. Kelvin Harmon is a big target for Finley as he stands at 6’3 and it became apparent last year as the junior led the team in passing yards with 1017. Jokobi Meyers is another receiver who should grow this season as he sat second on the team in yards with 727 and first in touchdowns with 5. The defense is where the most magic will need to be done as they lost most of their big-time playmakers from last year. Jarius Morehead will play a huge role in making sure the new guys are comfortable in their roles as the safety is the best player returning in 2018 as the redshirt junior sat 2nd on the team in tackles with 80. Redshirt senior Germaine Pratt will also have to shoulder some load this season as the linebacker has the ability to make big plays. Pratt is known for his speed as the linebacker was able to return 1 interception for a touchdown last season as well as return another for 73 yards but his big-play capabilities will need to be more consistent this season if the Wolfpack want to compete.
Player To Watch
Stephen Griffin, DB, Sr.
The NC State secondary is lacking experience as they graduated most of their starters from last year but one guy who can fill the void of inexperience is Tennessee transfer, Stephen Griffin. Griffin saw action in every game during his time at Tennessee but his time was limited which prompted the 6’2 safety to seek a transfer elsewhere for his final season of eligibility. Griffin got a year to learn the defense as he was forced to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules and I expect him to play a role this season for the Wolfpack as he is a solid defender. Look for Griffing to pick up 3 interceptions this season as the ball-hawking safety should benefit at his new home.
How Over/Under 7 Wins & North Carolina State Wolfpack Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 7 -110
Under 7 -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- James Madison- W
9/8- Georgia State- W
9/15- West Virginia- L
9/22- @ Marshall- W
9/29- Virginia- W
10/6- Boston College- W
10/20- @ Clemson- L
10/27- @ Syracuse- W
11/3- Florida State- L
11/8- Wake Forest- W
11/17- @ Louisville- W
11/24- @ North Carolina- W
Overall Record- 9-3
Against The Spread Selection: Over 7 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
In my opinion, the oddsmakers have this line wrong as I feel like NC State should be able to crush the over/under 7 win mark as they return some of the best playmakers in college football. They often say offense wins games and defense wins championships which is true for the Wolfpack as they will win a ton of games but won’t be an ACC contender due to an inexperienced defense. The Wolfpack offense will have to shoulder most of the load this season which shouldn’t be a big task considering they have a 3000+ yard passer, 1000+ yard pass catcher, and the #4 running back in the nation. Dave Doeren is a really good coach and I expect him to keep his team focused despite all of the talent the Wolfpack lost this past season. NC State crushes the 7 win mark as they find themselves in a solid bowl game for a second consecutive year.