NC State Wolfpack at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Expert Picks and Betting Predictions
NC State Wolfpack at Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Saturday Oct. 28, 3:30 p.m. ET
These two teams have quite a bit in common. They both suffered an early loss and have been fighting hard to show that they can overcome that and remain nationally relevant. They both want to be playoff teams, and for the winner of this game it will be a more realistic possibility. Both teams have played two ranked teams - NC state beat both, and Notre Dame lost to one - but for both this would be the most respectable opponent they have beaten. Both teams have a lot of strengths, and they both have had impressive wins, but neither is flawless by any means. It all sets up for a truly great game - a sudden-death battle for supremacy.
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NC State at Notre Dame Betting Storylines
NC State has two wins against ranked teams, but both have big asterisks beside them. The first was at Florida State, but before that game the Seminoles had been smashed by Alabama, lost their starting QB, had one game cancelled and another postponed due to a hurricane, and generally seen their very promising season fall to pieces. That was their second of four losses on the season, so though it's technically a ranked win it is hardly impressive. A win over Louisville was a touch more impressive, but the Cardinals have been very inconsistent, have lost three times, and are no longer ranked. So the team is in desperate need of a signature win that actually holds up to scrutiny to bolster their reputation. Notre Dame could be that win.
The lone NC State loss was in the opener, when they fell by a touchdown to South Carolina at home. The Wolfpack had two fumbles there that played a significant role in the outcome of the game. What is most striking about that, though, is that it was obviously a wakeup call because not only have they not lost since, but they have not turned the ball over once since, either.
The game ultimately is likely to come down to one key showdown. Notre Dame is a very strong running offense. They are averaging 317.9 yards per game, which is sixth-best in the nation. Last week in their absolute decimation of USC the Irish ran for 377 yards and scored on the ground five times. This team can run. NC State has the sixth-best run defense in the country, allowing just 91.3 yards per game. The key to it is a defensive front that is among the best in the whole country. Bradley Chubb is a total freak, and Kentavius Street and Darian Roseboro are excellent defensive ends as well. If you don't have a personal connection to one team or the other then the best you can hope for is a strength-against-strength battle, and we certainly have that. Both teams will be facing the best unit across from them that they have seen all year. Who you see as the winner here will very likely determine how you bet on this game. And so it should.
NC State at Notre Dame Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Notre Dame favored by 7.5, and that number has since fallen to the key number of seven . A solid majority of bets have been on Notre Dame, so the line movement tells us that sharp action is on NC State early on. The total opened at 59 and has climbed to 60.5 in early action.
NC State is 5-0 ATS in their last five road games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in October. They are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win. Notre Dame has covered their last five spreads, and they are a strong 38-13-2 ATS in their last 58 games in October.
NC State at Notre Dame Predictions and Picks
The Wolfpack are very well coached, and they have played solid football. The defensive line is very impressive, and they have a good quarterback in Ryan Finley and a solid running game. They are legitimate. They are only the second-best team here, though. Notre Dame absolutely destroyed USC last week, and the Irish are playing with more confidence then they have since their last Championship Game appearance. They are dynamic on the ground, solid defensively, and their coaching is the best it has been in a long while after much-needed changes were made to both coordinator positions this year. I'd jump on this game as fast as I could so I didn't have to give up more than a touchdown if possible, but at even a little more than that Notre Dame is the play.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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