November 18, 2010

NCAA Football Free Pick: North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. North Carolina Tar Heels



North Carolina State Wolfpack
(7-3, 8-2 ATS)

North Carolina Tar Heels
(6-4, 6-4 ATS)

Tobacco Road will never be the same after Saturday afternoon’s NCAA football betting affair. The North Carolina Tar Heels will look to spoil the party for their arch rivals, the NC State Wolfpack in ACC action.

The Wolfpack know that they are two wins away from the ACC Atlantic Division title and their first trip ever to the ACC Championship Game. They have covered three straight college football odds and have won three of their last four games in conference. Every game becomes bigger than the last for HC Tom O’Brien’s team, and all of the pressure is on QB Russell Wilson to get the job done. Wilson has thrown for 2,814 yards and 22 TDs, and he has rushed for seven more scores as well. Senior WR Owen Spencer has had a great campaign, catching 47 passes for 707 yards to lead the team. Spencer and Wilson are spearheading the nation’s No. 15 ranked passing attack at 290.8 yards per game, and if these two get going against UNC’s defense, it is going to be a long day for the hosts in Chapel Hill. Even defensively, things have been great for NC State. There are only three teams that have scored 28 or more points against this ‘D’ all season long, and the last two foes that have come across the Wolfpack have netted a total of 17 points.

North Carolina’s chances of winning the ACC Coastal Division came to a sudden halt last Saturday when it was knocked off by the Virginia Tech Hokies. HC Butch Davis’ team has already made it to a bowl game, but there is a big difference between a team with six wins sneaking in the backdoor to a December tussle and one that is coming on strong, full bore. We know that next week’s game at the Duke Blue Devils should yield a ‘W’, but there is definitely some unfinished business to tend to here for the Heels against the Wolfpack first. UNC was dropped 28-27 on the road last year in this series and hasn’t won a game against its rivals from up the road since 2006. This is the last chance for QB TJ Yates to beat the Wolfpack after three failed attempts, and he badly wants to take one last lick at his arch nemeses. Yates has thrown for 2,509 yards and 15 scores on the season in what has amounted to be the best season of his collegiate career. Amazingly, in spite of the fact that so many players have been suspended and/or ruled ineligible, the Tar Heels still rank No. 46 in the nation in total defense and No. 45 in scoring.

North Carolina just has had no luck against the Wolfpack, and we have no reason to believe that that is going to change. Wilson just looks like a man that refuses to lose sometimes, and if he comes into Chapel Hill with that mentality, NC State is going to be just one win shy of the ACC Championship Game.

College Football Expert Pick: North Carolina State Wolfpack +3

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