NCAAF Picks Week 8

North Carolina State Wolfpack at Miami Hurricanes +3

The season has not been going well for the Miami Hurricanes.  Devastating losses to UVA and UNC over the last two weeks have them currently sitting at 2-4 and little to know hope of doing anything of note this season.  Miami lost starting QB D’eriq King for the season and added starting RB Cameron Harris to the DL last week. The depleted offense has QB Tyler Van Dyke at the helm.  He has thrown for just 52% with 5 TDs and 3 interceptions. The Hurricanes are running into a red hot defense coming off a beatdown on the road against Boston College. NC State has given up just 14.33 ppg, and just 315 yards per game on the season.  

The NC State offense is led by QB Devin Leary’s 73% completion percentage, 15 TD to just 2 interceptions. The Wolfpack are just as effective on the ground as well as in the air. The two headed monsters of RB’s Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. have combined for almost 900 yards and four touchdowns.  Both rank in the top ten in the ACC for total yardage.  

NC State is 6-2 ATS in their last eight, they are looking to take control of the ACC and to do that, they have to take down the Hurricanes. They have a strong defense going against an undermanned Miami offense.  The Wolfpack will dominate, similarly to what they did against Boston College.   

Pick: NC State -3

Illinois Fighting Illini at Penn State Nittany Lions -23

Penn State’s dream season hit a snag last two weeks ago against the Iowa Hawkeyes.  They got a bye last week, allowing them to regroup and get ready for a matchup with Big Ten bottom dwelling Illinois Fighting Illini.  

The Penn State defense has been stout, holding opposing offenses to just 13.8 ppg. They hold down opposing offenses by limiting big plays.  They are top 5 in yards per play this season.  The Nittany Lions held Wisconsin to 10, Auburn to 20, Indiana to 0 and Iowa to just 23. The defense will be able to dominate, the Illinois offense that is averaging just 17 ppg.  

On offense Penn State will have a healthy Sean Clifford, their offense disappeared against Iowa once Clifford left the game. The passing game is ranked 23rd in the nation averaging 268 yards through the air.  Jahan Dotson has been a great target for the Nittany Lions, he has averaged 82.3 yards per game.  Penn State will have a lot of opportunities for big plays while they lean on the run game to establish the offense.  The Nittany Lions have two strong RB options with Keyvone Lee and Noah Cain.  

Illinois scored a combined 9 points in their last two Big Ten games and now face the best defense in the conference. The Fighting Illini will not be able to get anything going on offense, their defense should be able to keep them in it for a little while, eventually they will wear down and Penn State will dominate.  

Pick: Penn State Nittany Lions -23

LSU Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels Total: 76

The Rebels are down their two top receivers Johnathan Mingo and Braylon Sanders.  The absence of his main targets forced Ole Miss QB Matt Correal to utilize his legs more which led to more hits.  Correal is questionable for this game, if he is able to go he will likely not be on the same level as he usually is. If Correal is not at his full abilities the Rebels offense will rely on their SEC #1 ranked run game. But that may play right into the hands of their opponent. 

The LSU run game made an appearance last week in their upset over the Florida Gators. The Tigers should be able to move the ball on the ground against a 111th ranked Rebels run defense.  Tyrion Davis-Price is coming off of a dominant 287 yard performance.  If Davis-Price can continue to be effective on the ground, LSU will be able to manage the clock and turn this game into a battle of the trenches. 

Both teams have been miserable on defense. Still, ther combined totals against are under 75 and each teams combined total ppg on offense is under 75.  Ole Miss will have to run the ball more due to the injury to Correal, while LSU will want to run the ball to keep the opposing offense off the field.  If this game is turned into a battle of the rushing offenses, not only do I see an under hitting but a potential ML wager on LSU may be in play. 

Pick: Under 76

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