NC State at Clemson: Betting Preview

Touching Howard’s Rock, a hunk of quartz has been a tradition for Clemson football since 1966. Tyler Smith/Getty Images

There are big matchups, galore in week five. Perhaps the crown jewel of them all will take place in Clemson, South Carolina. In a bout with huge playoff implications, the Clemson Tigers will host the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday night.

Clemson comes into this matchup 4-0 after a dramatic double-overtime win over #22 Wake Forest. NC State comes into this matchup at 4-0 and is ranked 10th in the country. The Wolfpack pulled out close games against both East Carolina and Texas Tech. The Clemson Tigers tout one of the most and dominant front sevens in the country as they have allowed just 79 rushing yards per game, which is good for eighth in the nation.

The Clemson secondary, on the other hand, has been a bit of a problem this year as they have allowed 268 yards per game through the air which puts them in the bottom 50 of the country. In their last game, the Tigers were without three starters in the secondary; Andrew Mukuba, Sheridan Jones, and Nate Wiggins.

Like Clemson, NC State prides itself on the defensive side of the ball with its impenetrable front seven. NC State is top 10 in rushing yards against per game at just under 82 yards per game. The Wolfpack have also been great at defending the aerial attack. The NC State secondary is top 25 in passing yards against per game at just under 180 yards per game.

Offensively, The Wolfpack features a balanced attack with dark horse Heisman candidate, Devin Leary at the controls. They are around the middle of the pack, in both passing and rushing yards per game. Also, watch out for Thayer Thomas out of the slot, he could have a big impact in this one.

Dave Doeren and his Wolfpack squad have always played Clemson tough during his tenure. This includes NC State’s shocking win against a heavily favored Clemson last year in Raleigh. The Clemson offense led by the second-year starter, DJ Uiagalelei, is 42nd in the country in pass yards per game with 275 yards per game. This may be misleading due to who Clemson has played thus far. The Tigers feature a very talented ground attack led by former five-star, Will Shipley, as well as Kobe Pace. Clemson averages 183.5 yards per game on the ground, good for 43rd in the nation.

While the numbers may look good on paper for the Clemson offense, there are still many who are doubting their ability to move the ball down the field on a consistent basis. Don’t let last week against a putrid Wake Forest secondary fool you. There are still a lot of questions for Clemson to answer Offensively. This Wolfpack defense will present a great test for the Tigers offense this week.

This isn’t a game I’m rushing to the books to get some action on. This game really could go either way in terms of both the money line and the spread. Plus, there’s a lot more value on the board in other games.

If I had to make a pick here, I would lean towards an exotic like the first quarter or first half.

My Official Pick: Clemson -0.5 1st Quarter

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