ACC Betting Preview: Clemson Tigers at North Carolina St Wolfpack

#7 Clemson Tigers at North Carolina St Wolfpack
Carter-Finley Stadium – Raleigh, North Carolina
Saturday, November 19, 2011, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN
Opening Line: Clemson -9
Current Line: Clemson -7 1/2
Opening Total: 52
Current Total 52 1/2
Opening Money Line: Clemson -325 / NC State +265
Current Money Line: Clemson -310 / NC State +255

Clemson a surprising double-digit favorite on Saturday afternoon
Clemson opened as a 9 point road favorite at North Carolina St but were bet down to -7 1/2

Clemson is 9-1 and has already clinched the ACC Atlantic Division title, but they still have an outside shot of going to the BCS Championship game if Oklahoma St, LSU, Arkansas Alabama, Oklahoma, and Oregon all lose at least one game and the Tigers win out. But first things first, Clemson must take care of business against a 5-5 NC State team that is trying to become bowl eligible. Clemson under coach Dabo Swinney, is #7 in the BCS standings. The only blemish on the record is a loss at Georgia Tech 31-17. Clemson has home wins over Troy 43-19, Wofford 35-27, Auburn 38-24, Florida St 35-30, Boston College 36-14, North Carolina 59-38, and last week against Wake Forest 31-28, along with road wins over Virginia Tech 23-3 and Maryland 56-45. North Carolina St is coached by Tom O’Brien and has home wins over Liberty 43-21, South Alabama 35-13, Central Michigan 38-24, and North Carolina 13-0, along with a road win over Virginia 28-14. The Wolfpack have road losses to Wake Forest 34-27, Cincinnati 44-14, Florida St 34-0, and last week at Boston College 14-10, along with a home loss to Georgia Tech 45-35. North Carolina St has to beat both Clemson and Maryland to become bowl eligible because they have 2 wins over FCS schools. Clemson leads the series 51-27-1 against NC State, including 18-15 in Raleigh. Clemson has won 7 straight against the Wolfpack including 14-13 last year at Clemson.

Clemson was a 16 point favorite last week against Wake Forest on the college football betting line. The Tigers were up 14-7 at halftime but Wake scored 21 straight points to take a 28-14 lead in the third quarter. Clemson scored the last 17 points of the game to win 31-28. The Tigers overcame 6 penalties and 3 turnovers in the win. Clemson had 522 yards including 343 passing yards from quarterback Tajh Boyd who had 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Boyd also rushed for 27 yards. Running back Andre Ellington had 25 carries for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns, and had 3 catches for 42 yards. Receiver Jaron Brown had 6 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Sammy Watkins had 5 catches for 62 yards, and 2 carries for 32 yards. Watkins left the game with a shoulder injury but is probable for the NC State. Wake Forest had 317 total yards including 145 yards rushing. The Deacons missed 2 field goals, and Clemson missed one as well.

Clemson is averaging 479.3 yards, including 307.6 passing yards and 171.7 rushing yards. The Tigers are averaging 37.3 points a game. Clemson has 15 turnovers and has allowed 18 sacks this season. Clemson is 82/170 on third and fourth down conversions, and 33/39 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns. The Tigers are allowing 378.4 yards including 188.3 rushing yards and 190.1 passing yards a game. Clemson is allowing 25.9 points a game. The Tigers have forced 19 turnovers and have 18 sacks this season. Tiger opponents are 62/162 on third and fourth down conversions, and 24/30 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns. Clemson has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Boyd is 222/361 passing for 3,017 yards with 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 100 carries, for 191 yards and 4 touchdowns. Boyd leads the ACC in all major passing categories and is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Running back Andre Ellington has 171 carries, 843 yards, and 9 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 97 yards.  Mike Bellamy and D.J. Howard also get significant carries and each has at least one touchdown run. Bellamy has two. Watkins has 68 catches, 1,034 yards, and 10 touchdowns, along with 24 carries for 165 yards. Watkins has over 1,800 all purpose yards and has a kickoff return for a touchdown DeAndre Hopkins has 47 catches, 631 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Dwayne Allen has 42 catches, 518 yards, and 5 scores. Jaron Brown has 26 catches, 343 yards, and 4 touchdowns.   Kicker Chandler Catanzaro is 42/43 on extra points and 15/20 on field goals with a long of 47 yards.

North Carolina St was a 2.5 point favorite last week at Boston College. BC was up 14-3 at halftime and held on for a 14-10 win. NC State had 267 total yards including 220 passing yards from quarterback Mike Glennon who threw an interception and no touchdowns. Running back James Washington had 13 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. Boston College had 190 total yards including 72 rushing yards.

The Wolfpack don’t really have what you would call a balanced attack on offense. The passing game averages 229.7 yards a game but the ground game is among the worst in the country with 102 yards rushing a game. NC State is averaging 331.7 total yards and 24.3 points a game. The Wolfpack have 18 turnovers and have allowed 24 sacks this season. NC State is 72/172 on third and fourth down conversions, and 23/29 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. NC State is allowing 352.1 yards a game including 216.5 passing yards and 135.6 rushing yards a game. The Wolfpack are allowing 24.3 points a game. North Carolina St has forced 27 turnovers and 25 sacks this season.  NC State opponents are 56/143 on third and fourth down conversions, and 26/29 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. NC State has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.

Glennon is 207/336 passing with 2,231 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Running back James Washington has 170 carries, 676 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 239 yards. Tony Creecy has 70 carries for 252 yards, along with 15 catches, 89 yards, and a touchdown catch. Curtis Underwood Jr. has 42 carries, 226 yards, and 1 touchdown, along with 5 catches, 43 yards, and a touchdown. He has missed the last 6 games with a knee injury and is questionable against Clemson.  Receiver T.J. Graham has 31 catches, 553 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Tobias Palmer has 30 catches, 345 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Jay Smith has 29 catches, 277 yards, and 2 touchdowns.   Four other Wolfpack receivers have at least 2 touchdown catches. Kicker Niklas Sade is 30/32 on extra points, and 7/12 on field goals with a long of 45 yards. NC State has 8 players listed as questionable, doubtful, or out including 5 defensive players.

NC State is 3-6-1 against the spread and the total is 4-6 in those games. Clemson is 7-3 ATS and the total is 6-4 this year. The Tigers have covered the last 5 meetings against NC State. Clemson is 6-1 ATS following a straight up win, 4-1 in road games, 7-2 in conference games, 6-2 overall and on grass, 5-2 as a favorite, 9-4 as a favorite of between 3.5 and 10 points, and 2-5 in November. NC State is 7-1-1 ATS after scoring less than 20 points in the previous game, 8-2-1 as a home dog, 17-5-1 after a straight up loss, 3-1-1 as an underdog of between 3.5 and 10 points, and on grass, 8-3-1 at home, 18-7-2 as an underdog, 10-4 in November, 20-9-2 against teams with winning records, 1-3-1 after failing to cover, and 0-4 after allowing 20 points or less.

After averaging more than 31 points a game in the first 7 games of the season, North Carolina St’s offense has suddenly gone in the tank, scoring only 23 points total in the last 3 games. The Wolfpack have to find their offense against Clemson or the high octane Tigers will blow them away. I like Clemson at -7 1/2 as that is good value on a top ten team.

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