Clemson Tigers (-7) @ NC State Wolf Pack Free NCAA Pick: As I expected, the spread value has moved away from Clemson, not surprising considering the Tigers’ talent and their success of late. It’s now at 8, but I got the Tigers at 7. Thus far, 65% of the public likes Clemson, and I imagine even more of them liked the Tigers as just a touchdown favorites. And get ready, because there’s more than a few methods to my Tiger-on-the-road pick where they are a paltry 1-3 so far this season.
Clemson has lost one pathetic game, getting beat by the Terps in Maryland 21-24. Aside from that, they’ve played pretty solid football against everyone. They’ve beaten Boston College, FSU, Miami, and Wake, those last 3 during their current 4 game winning streak. The Tigers had trouble against the heavy rushing teams they’ve faced this year, TCU, Georgia Tech, and Nebraska – all out-rushed the Tigers and did a solid job stopping the run.
That is not NC State’s offense. They give the ball to their talented QB, Russell Wilson, and they throw the rock. They’ve done so for over 2,500 yards this season, and Wilson has 24 touchdowns through the first 9 games. Clemson has turned to C.J. Spiller and the Tiger rushing attack, and they’ve reaped the benefits of one of the best runners in all the land. Defensively, they do a good job limiting opposing rushing attacks, and put pressure on opposing passers without having to blitz too often.
Lastly, and possibly most important, the Wolf Pack’s injury report has more patients than a high priced Hollywood rehab clinic. Already 10 players have been listed as “out for the season” – they have one more guy that is questionable, and another WR out indefinitely. If they can piece together a roster to stop C.J. Spiller and produce consistent touchdowns against the Tigers’ defense, they deserve to beat my pick.