N.C. State vs. Pittsburgh Prediction
Will N.C. State cover as a double-digit road favorite today, or will the Wolfpack struggle against Pittsburgh?
THE ODDS: According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Wolfpack are now 11-point road favorites versus the Panthers, who opened as a 10-point underdog. As for the total, the number currently sits at 53.5 points after hitting the board at 56.5.
N.C. STATE: The Wolfpack are off to a strong start in 2017 and that could mean a contract extension soon for Dave Doeren. Debbie Yow said earlier this week that, “We’re glad to be in negotiations. We want Dave here a long time and appreciate the progress that has been made.” Doeren’s current contract was announced following the 2014 season and is an incentive-laden deal that pays Doeren around $2.2 million per year.
PITTSBURGH: This is a lot of points to lay on a road team in conference play but this is a much different Pittsburgh team that was lighting up the scoreboard consistently a year ago. The Panthers set a school-record for points last year with 508 and ranked in the top 10 in the country in scoring (40.9 points per game) and the top 30 in rushing (225.1 yards per game). But Matt Canada, who worked as the offensive coordinator for both N.C. State and Pitt before taking a job at LSU last December moved on and the Panthers offense hasn’t been the same. Under first-year coordinator Shawn Watson, the Panthers’ scoring average is down to 24.3 points per game and their rushing average is 116.8, last in the ACC.
WHO COVERS: It’s not just that Pittsburgh lost its offensive coordinator – the Panthers also lost a pair of players in running back James Conner and quarterback Nate Peterman to the NFL. They’ve been a different offense this season and while laying the 12 points is a lot to ask a road team in conference play, the Wolfpack should be able to handle the big number. N.C .State ranks in the top 40 in scoring (35.5 points per game) and top 25 in passing (305.3 yards per game). The Wolfpack is off to a 3-0 start in ACC play for the first time in 15 years and quarterback Ryan Finley has emerged as one of the best signal-callers in the ACC. Pitt, which is allowing 30.8 points per game (92nd in the country) and 451.0 yards per game (109), will have its hands full.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 7 PICK: N.C. STATE WOLFPACK -11