North Carolina State at Pittsburgh – Prediction and Pick

The betting odds for North Carolina State’s upcoming trip to Pittsburgh may seem ordinary at first. The Wolfpack, having a dandy campaign so far, are favored by almost 2 touchdowns after beating FSU and Louisville in 2 of their last 3 games. NCSU is almost a 5/1 favorite on the money line, and the O/U total is (56) – indicating that bookies believe the final score will be something like 34-22.

But the Pittsburgh Panthers have a nasty habit of jumping up and surprising the experts at least once or twice every season. In 2016, Pitt took Penn State to the limit before beating the eventual national champion Clemson Tigers. In 2015, the Panthers whipped Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech before nearly crowning Miami.

We know they’ve got it in them. The questions are, which week will Pittsburgh beat the spread easily, and which opponent gives them the best opportunity to do so?

NC State has given the impression of being either a fluke conference-title bid or a very, very good team that only tries hard when it feels like it. The week before the 5-1 Wolfpack beat Florida State, they gave up 13 1st-half points to FCS thrash-for-cash opponent Furman.

The week after, they nearly blew a big lead to Syracuse at home…right before dusting the Louisville Cardinals.

Who: North Carolina State Wolfpack at Pittsburgh Panthers

When: Saturday, October 14th, 12 PM EST

Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Lines: NCSU (-12.5) at Pitt (+12.5) / O/U Total: (56)

Best Bet Recommendation for NC State at Pittsburgh

For Pitt to make any noise, they’ll need a certain type of opponent.

The OL has struggled to protect Max Browne in obvious passing situations, which come often given the team’s anemic running game. The Panthers have the hosses to slow down a prolific opposing QB/RB combination and give their side a fighting chance. But an upset, or even a near-upset, won’t come against a stout run defense.

The Wolfpack ‘D has been allowing modest rushing totals against shotgun-spread teams, including 4.0 ypc in the tussles with FSU and Louisville. But even Furman rushed for 133 yards vs NCSU.

The visitors’ run defense is good enough to contend given that the offense scores a lot of points. But to cover against Pittsburgh on the road, NC State will need tackles-for-loss and a pass rush on 3rd down.

Look for Wolfpack DE Bradley Chubb to take center stage. The 6’4″ senior has 6.5 sacks on the year, including a take-down on Lamar Jackson last weekend.

Winning Point Spread Pick – NCSU at Pitt

Pittsburgh will cover a spread or 2 against the big shots before its over, and probably score at least a lone SU upset.

But it won’t be this week. North Carolina State is proving dangerous when motivated, and the squad can smell a potential trip to the ACC Championship Game brewing. Take NCSU (-12.5).

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