2022 NC State Wolfpack Football Predictions and Betting Odds
The NC State Wolfpack have never managed to get over the bump and make a true run in college football’s postseason; they’ve also never had a playoff berth. They’ve had tons of success and bowl nominations (seven), and even last season they were one of the best “not known” teams in college football -- two out of their three losses were on the road by a total of 4 points.
Expectations are high this season for NC State due in part to numerous seniors taking advantage of the extra COVID year and a very favorable schedule in the upcoming 2022 season.
Will this fall finally be the NC State coach Dave Doeren says they are?
Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
Offense / Defense
Devin Leary is returning to be the Wolfpack as QB. As football fans know, the quarterback is an essential leading piece to a team’s success, and Leary is a leader. Leary completed 283-of-431 passes last season for 3,433 yards, with 35 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Being a pocket passing QB, he doesn’t receive as much love as the new style fan favorite dual-threat QBs, but he had six 300+ throwing yard games last season and has made serious strides to becoming an elite passer. NC Sate’s passing attack averaged more than 288 yards per game, which was the second-most efficient in the ACC, behind Pitt’s attack, last year. On the flip side, the offense is missing top receiver Emeka Emezie, the top two running backs – Donovan Knight and Ricky Person -- and elite tackle Ikem Ekwonu, who is now on the Carolina Panthers in the NFL. The Wolfpack’s running game needs to be better as it failed to get over 200 yards in their last nine games of the season. NC State will need to see an improvement on the ground to help open up the pass game this year.
Even through injuries (6 different positions affected), NC State ranked second in points per game, allowing just 19.7 in the 2021 season. They also finished second in the ACC with 15 interceptions. If this team can stay healthy, they will have an All-ACC linebacking corps, highlighted by Isaiah Moore, Payton Wilson, and Drake Thomas. Cornerbacks Shyheim Battle and Derrek Pitts are good, and the safety situation is unreal around First Team All-ACC 82-tackle playmaker Tanner Ingle.
Keys to the 2022 Season
As we just mentioned, a big key to NC State’s 2022 success will be running the ball effectively. They need to try and average at least 4 yards per carry each game and pound the ball in the endzone. Nine of their total 11 touchdown runs came in three easy games last season. Another key to the Wolfpack’s success in 2022 will be to recover fumbles on the defensive end. They picked off a ton of passes, third down stops were solid, and now it’s time to produce and recover fumbles. With a grand total of 1 fumble recovery in 2021, it is essential to pounce on more.
Key 2021 Stats
– Time of Possession: NC State 31:17 – Opponents 28:18
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: NC State 117 – Opponents 58
– 3rd Down Conversions: NC State 68-of-171 (40%) – Opponents 53-of-181 (29%)
2022 Betting Odds and Trends
NC State’s Over/Under this season is at 8.5 wins. Their odds to win the 2023 College Football Championship are at +12000. They are -10 favorites for their game vs the East Carolina Pirates on September 3. The Over/Under total is 56.0 points.
Benefiting immensely from the extra COVID year, the Wolfpack may be on the verge to one of their best seasons yet. This offense is going to throw the ball and put-up points. They should be the second best team in their conference. I believe they could have a double-digit victory season, which would be the second time in school history. I’m betting the over on 8.5 wins as I predict a 9-win season for the Wildcats.
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