Free CFB Pick: NC State vs. Clemson

The North Carolina State Wolfpack and the No.11 Clemson Tigers clash this upcoming Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in an ACC Atlantic Division tilt. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ABC.

NC State snapped a two-game skid this past Saturday with a 37-6 rout over Wake Forest as a nine-point home favorite to improve to 6-4 straight up on the year. The Wolfpack have still been costly against the spread at 3-6-1 and the total has stayed “under” in six of their last nine games.

Clemson comes into this matchup with a six-game winning streak both SU and ATS after waxing Maryland, 45-10, as a 31.5-point home favorite its last time out. Overall, the Tigers are 9-1 SU and a profitable 8-2 ATS. The total has stayed under in three of their last four games.

Betting Storylines

NC State’s big claim to fame this season was a stunning 17-16 victory over Florida State as a 17-point home underdog on Oct.6 in a game that could have very well cost the No. 10-ranked Seminoles a shot at a national title. Instead of building on that incredible win, the Wolfpack proceeded to lose to North Carolina 43-35 as seven-point underdogs on the road and fall completely apart in an ugly 33-6 loss to Virginia as 10.5-point home favorites in their next two games.

This type of inconsistency has plagued NC State all season long, especially on offense. Quarterback Mike Glennon has done a good job moving the ball through the air with 2,910 yards passing and 22 touchdowns, but he is completing just 57.3 percent of his throws and has been picked off 13 times. Defensively, the Wolfpack have been unpredictable as well by giving up an average of 11.3 points a game in their six wins as opposed the 38.8 point average they surrendered in four losses.

Clemson’s only setback of the season was a costly 49-37 loss to Florida State on Sept.22 as a 14.5-point road underdog. This team is actually much better than the one that lost that game behind tremendous balance on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Tajh Boyd has been the dual-threat that everyone expected before the season began with 363 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns to complement his 2,941 yards passing and 29 touchdown throws. Another huge contributor to an offense that is piling up an average of 42.9 points a game is running back Andre Ellington. He has rushed for 835 yards while averaging 5.1 yards a carry.

Turning to the defensive side of the ball, this unit has really tightened things up over the past few games after getting torched for a combined 111 points in consecutive games against the Seminoles, Boston College and Georgia Tech. It has now allowed an average of just 15 points in its last four games and the defense is ranked 33rd in the nation overall in points allowed.

Odds and Trends

Pointspread: Clemson -17.5
Total Line: OFF

The Wolfpack are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six road games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in six of their last eight games on the road.

The Tigers are 25-10 ATS in their last 35 games against the ACC and 4-0 ATS in their last four games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed under in 16 of their last 23 conference games.

Head-to-head in this series, the underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings and the total has stayed under in five of the last seven games between the two.

Betting Prediction

The revenge factor remains high in this year’s matchup after NC State embarrassed the Tigers 37-13 last season as a 7.5-point underdog at underdogs. The gap this season between the two teams continues to grow with each passing game, and right now, given Clemson’s current form, this game will not stay closer than three touchdowns.

Take # 340 Clemson (-17.5) over NC State (Saturday, Nov. 17, 3:30 p.m.)

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