Syracuse +4.5 2.2% play 

Syracuse and NC State are really similar coming off a season where they both lost their veteran QB.  I think NC State lost a bit more on offense having lost their offensive coordinator and have struggled offensively this season just as Syracuse has struggled.  I think the line move from 3 to 1.5 is giving us some value here, and I think people still can't get that Maryland game out of their mind which again should be giving us value here and moving forward.  Syracuse has also faced a tougher schedule.  Yeah they have struggled to stop the run, but their opponent average ypc is ranked 35.75.  I think Syracuse will sell out to stop the run here, and force NC State into passing situations where their QB will make mistakes especially with the shuffling of the offensive line.  NC State is missing their Senior RT Justin Witt and they are starting a true freshmen in his place, but moving him to the LT and moving the LT to the right side to protect the blind side of a lefty throwing QB.

Syracuse's offensive line has struggled as well, but they have gone against tough competition, opponent average sack rate ranking 48th, and opponent havoc rate 17.55%, and theve had to do it with 3 new offensive line starters.  They come off a bye, which is a good spot for Syracuse, and I think Dino Babers has expressed he wants to pick the tempo up, and I think they do that here tonight which will help the offensive line vs. a very good defensive front from NC State.  NC State's defense ranks 28th in YPP allowed, but they have faced an average opponent ranking 92.25.  The opponent YPP differentiation for both of these teams is extremely different.  Syracuse has faced an opponent average +0.7, and NC State -0.48.  What's concerning is NC State's defense which is getting a lot of credit here gave up 31 and 44 points to Florida State and West Virginia already.

Turnovers and special teams will be a big key in this game, and I feel Syracuse has the edge in that regard as well.  Theyr ank 29th in TO margin compared to NC State's 67th ranking, and Syracuse faced a tougher schedule in that regard.  Syracuse has the top punter in the country with a big leg who will make NC State's offensive troubles continue here.  Syracuse returned their PK who went 30-34 last year, which is key when you are taking a spread of +4.5.


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