Wake Forest vs. NC State odds, line: Picks and predictions from proven expert who's 9-1 on Demon Deacons, Wolfpack games
Zack Cimini has his finger on the pulse of NC State and Wake Forest football
One of the longest-running rivalries in college football resumes on Thursday night when the NC State Wolfpack host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 7:30 p.m. ET. The teams have faced off every year since 1910, and while the Wolfpack have won three of four in the series as of late, the Deacons took last year's matchup, 30-24, in Winston-Salem. The current Wake Forest vs. NC State odds show the Wolfpack as 19.5-point favorites as sharp money has pushed the spread up from an open of 15, while the over-under for total points scored is 68. Before locking in any Wake Forest vs. NC State picks, you need to see what SportsLine college football expert Zack Cimini is saying about the game.
The fast-rising Las Vegas prognosticator has turned a profit in every sport, but he's tremendously adept at sniffing out spread winners in college football. And when it comes to picking for or against Wake Forest, Cimini is an amazing 8-1 all-time since joining SportsLine. He also nailed the lone NC State pick he's ever made. Overall, he's hit on 15 of his last 21 picks college football picks, a whopping 71.4-percent cash rate. Anyone who has followed him is way, way up.
Now, Cimini is locked in on NC State vs. Wake Forest and released a strong against the spread pick that you can only see at SportsLine.
Cimini knows NC State QB Ryan Finley has 16 TDs, one fewer than all of last season, as the Wolfpack average 323 yards through the air per game, good for 10th in the country. Returning top wide receivers Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers have done their part: Harmon has 50 catches for 831 yards, while Meyers has 52 for 451.
The Wolfpack's defensive front is a force to be reckoned with regardless of how teams are trying to move the ball. They've managed 25 sacks and have also allowed just 91.6 yards per game on the ground, ninth-fewest in the land. That's a perfect strength to have against a Demon Deacons offense that runs for 224 yards on average.
NC State closes out first halves as well as any team in the country. While the Wolfpack have been outscored in the first and third quarters and have a 10-point advantage in the fourth, they've outscored the opposition 108-34 in the second quarter.
But those imposing numbers don't mean the Wolfpack can cover a two-touchdown-plus spread on Thursday.
Wake Forest's offense can score on just about anyone with a balance that forces defenses to pick its poison. The Deacons average 229 yards passing and 224 yards rushing per game, ranking 31st in the nation in total offense. Take away a three-point output against mighty Clemson and Wake has averaged 36 points its other eight games.
A new QB will be leading the way on Thursday. True freshman Sam Hartman, who's started every games so far, was lost for the season Saturday with a leg injury suffered last week against Syracuse. Sophomore Jamie Newman, who is 7 of 15 for 75 yards on the season, takes over.
Wake's defense has struggled to stop opponents with regularity, but a key play can come from anywhere in a balanced unit that includes 12 players with a sack and eight with at least 38 tackles. Wake Forest is averaging 36 yards per INT return and has seven fumble recoveries.
We can tell you Cimini is leaning toward the under, but he has uncovered a crucial x-factor that will determine which side of the spread hits hard. He's only sharing it over at SportsLine.
So which side of the spread should you back for Wake Forest vs. NC State, and which crucial x-factor determines the outcome? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the expert who's 9-1 on Wake Forest and NC State picks.
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