Wake Forest vs. NC State odds, line: Picks, predictions from expert who’s 9-1 on Demon Deacons, Wolfpack games

The NC State Wolfpack can clinch their fifth winning season in a row on Thursday when they host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 7:30 p.m. ET. The latest Wake Forest vs. NC State odds show the host Wolfpack as 17-point favorites. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 69. NC State can clinch its fifth winning season in a row, while Wake needs two victories to attain bowl eligibility. Before you make your Wake Forest vs. NC State picks, you need to hear what SportsLine college football expert Zack Cimini has to say. 

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 the Wolfpack (6-2) bounced back from a two-game losing streak in which they allowed 92 points to Clemson and Syracuse by beating Florida State by 19 last Saturday. Offense is the strong suit of the Deacons, a unit that ranks 10th in the country at 323 yards passing per game. NC State faces a Wake Forest defense that is allowing 273 yards passing and 221 yards rushing per game — the Deacons rank 115th out of 130 FBS teams in each category. 

There were high expectations on returning starting QB Ryan Finley, and the senior has reached them. He’s completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 16 TDs and six INTs; last year he completed 65 percent with 17 TDs. His offensive line has played lights-out because Finley has been sacked just four times all season. 

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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