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Clemson Tigers vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack Point Spread - Pick

Clemson Tigers (7-1 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 3:30PM EDT
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, North Carolina
TV: ABC

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CLEM -7.5/NCST +7.5
Over/Under Total: 51

The Clemson Tigers come to Raleigh on Saturday for a Big 12 matchup against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack were on a nice roll, overcoming a week one loss to South Carolina to win 6 straight games, before losing to Notre Dame, 35-14, on Saturday. Still unbeaten in conference, they look to score a huge win at home this week. Clemson stared to rebuild from their only loss of the season, coming off a break and beating Georgia Tech on Saturday, 24-10. They look to make a statement this week, as they climb back up the rankings for a possible CFP spot.

Again, NC State was cruising along really well after their week one stumble to the Gamecocks. Heading into the game with Notre Dame, they were coming off consecutive wins over Florida State, Syracuse, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. The game against Notre Dame was their second road game in a row and against a good Fighting Irish team, it was too big of an ask, as they were given a sound beating by a really good football team. Still, North Carolina State offers a lot of balance and has the kind of quiet competence that can give a lot of teams trouble. They look for that to resonate better at home this week than what it did against Notre Dame.

At quarterback for the Wolfpack for a second season is veteran Ryan Finley, a junior who used to play for Boise State. He has been efficient this season with only one pick and that coming in his last game, along with some big performances this season thus far. They have a pretty potent air-attack, with Finley getting the ball in the hands of Kelvin Harmon, Jaylen Samuels, Stephen Louis, and Jakobi Meyers. That's a quartet of ball-catchers that can do a lot of damage. On the ground, Nyheim Hines (questionable) is a handful and gets a big assist from Reggie Gallaspy, II.

The North Carolina defense had been playing very consistently as of late, with the loss to Notre Dame being a letdown. Other than their first game and their last one, where they gave up 35 points in both games, the Wolfpack has given up 16-25 points a game. They are better against the run than they are against the pass, but that didn't really materialize against Notre Dame, who ran with impunity against this bunch. But they have talent. Up-front, Bradley Chubb is a difference-maker. Linebackers Jerod Fernandez, Germaine Pratt, and Airius Moore have been solid. In the secondary, Jarius Morehead, Johnathan Alston, and Shawn Boone were all good on Saturday.

Clemson returned in reasonably strong form on Saturday after having to wait 15 days to make up for their shock loss to Syracuse. The loss was damaging and gives Clemson no margin for error moving forward, but there is a lot they could still accomplish and after a routine win over a tough Yellow Jackets team, they look for better results on the road this week after falling on their face a few weeks ago. The time off helped refresh QB Kelly Bryant, who has a concussion against Syracuse.

Saturday wasn't a vintage performance from the Tigers' offense, but it was good to see Bryant out there doing his thing. He threw for two touchdowns with no picks on an efficient performance, while also running for 67 yards. Several other backs had good production, with Travis Etienne, Adam Choice, and CJ Fuller adding some nice runs. Aerially, Deon Cain caught a TD, as did Milan Richard, with Ray Ray McCloud chipping in, though normal producers Hunter Renfrow and Tavien Feaster were quiet.

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Against a Georgia Tech run-game that can really do damage, Clemson was pretty good. Even with the Syracuse loss, they are still giving up just 13 points a game on average, while being stiff against the run and especially the pass. They get a lot of big plays in their front-seven. Between Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Tre Lamar, Dorian O'Daniel, and Christian Wilkins, they can bring a lot of heat on opposing quarterbacks. O'Daniel has scored two touchdowns. The only time Georgia Tech scored on Saturday was late in the game when it didn't matter anymore. Other than the 27 they gave up to Syracuse, they've given up point-totals that even an off-key Clemson offense can top.

This might be something less than a complete slam-dunk for Clemson. In their last four games and at other points during the season, we've seen the offense somewhat diminished, scoring between 24-28 points in games over the last month. On the road against a tough NC State team, a similar offensive performance from Clemson could result in this game being a real grind. But with the one game after the break out of the way, Clemson's offense could find success against an NC State "D" that can be quite leaky in certain areas, namely the pass. With Clemson's aerial variety, that looms as a potential area of trouble this week for the Wolfpack. Isee Clemson making a statement this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Clemson Tigers minus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Clemson vs. NC State game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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