NC State has faced reality going 0-2 since the start of ACC play after dominating a weak non-conference slate, and the Wolfpack could be overvalued at Wake Forest Saturday.
The home underdog seems to provide good value catching nearly double-digits Saturday afternoon when the somewhat overrated NC State Wolfpack (4-2, 4-2 ATS) pay a visit to those pesky Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-4, 3-4 ATS) in ACC action from BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, NC at 12:00 Noon ET in a game available on ESPN3.
The point spread at Bet365 has Wake Forest as a decided home underdog for this contest with the current line at +9½ with odds of -110.
Padded NC State Numbers
NC State began the season 4-0 out of conference and it is still ranked 34th in the country in scoring with 35.2 points per game and 11th in points against at 16.0 points per as of now, as well as third in total defense allowing 247.8 yards per contest. But it is hard to take those numbers seriously when you consider the Wolfpack had one of the easiest non-conference schedules among all Power 5 teams, beating Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion and South Alabama.
Wake Forest is 3-4 both straight up and ATS and it was an ugly losing college football pick at North Carolina 50-14 last week, but it had been very competitive in every game before that and can return to that form coming back home here after two straight road contests including an upset win at Boston College two weeks ago.
Yet to Win in ACC
Furthermore, that win by Wake over Boston College remains the only conference win for either of these schools, with the Demon Deacons sitting at 1-3 and the Wolfpack at 0-2 inside the ACC. After dominating the four aforementioned weak non-conference opponents while also going 4-0 ATS all against double-digit point spreads, NC State has received a dose of reality while losing at home to Louisville and on the road at Virginia Tech once ACC play began.
The Wolfpack have been listless offensively in their two conference games, amassed only 228 total yards while losing 20-13 to Louisville and 270 yards in the 28-13 loss to Virginia Tech, and both of those losses now look worse with the Cardinals being 2-4 and the Hokies being 3-4 overall! That does not exactly ooze confidence when being asked to give nearly double-digits, and on the road no less.
Hung with Some Good Teams
Wake Forest on the other hand faced a better non-conference schedule that included a seven-point loss to Indiana of the Big Ten, and the Deacons also played undefeated Florida State tough once getting into conference play, easily covering the number in the 24-16 loss to the Seminoles while holding them to only 329 total yards! And that proved not to be a fluky performance by the defense with the shutout of Boston College that followed.
Yes, the defense did break down badly vs. a very good North Carolina offense in a second straight road game at Chapel Hill last week, but besides now returning home, the Demon Deacon are also facing an offense that has not done anything inside the ACC, so a return to that previous great defensive form seems likely.
The Wake offense is a legitimate concern as it is averaging a mere 18.9 points per game while ranking 94th in the nation in total offense at 361.1 yards per contest, but as long as the defense performs as we expect here, then even scoring 14 points or so may be enough to cover what seems like an inflated spread with Wake Forest being home for this spot.
Series Dominated by Home Teams!
Finally, the home teams gave gone 13-2 ATS in the last 15 head-to-head meetings between these schools including Wake Forest going a perfect 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings here at Winston-Salem. Additionally, Wake Forest is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games overall while NC State is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games following a straight up loss.
Given NC State still having its stats padded somewhat by the soft early non-conference schedule, look for the home dominance in this series to continue with Wake Forest seemingly offering very good value ATS getting this many points at home on Saturday.
College Football Pick: Wake Forest +9½ (-110)