The college football season is just a couple of months away, and with the basketball season in the rearview, it’s time to dive into some plays in the future market. For this play, we’re going to the ACC with a team that overachieved last season, and seems to be in position to do so again.
Let’s make some money on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Wolfpack easily cleared last season’s win total of 6.5, finishing at 9-3. That team really impressed on the defensive side of the ball, and is set to bring back 10 of those 11 starters — 88% of their defensive production. On offense, seven starters will return, but QB Devin Leary is the most important piece, and remains in place.
Leary threw for nearly 3,500 yards last season, including a 35:5 TD:INT ratio. Two of Leary’s top-three receivers will also return, so much of the passing game is in tact. The Wolfpack will lose their top-two rushers from a season ago, but that production should be able to be picked up by some capable bodies stepping in. Ikem Ekonwu left and was a top-10 pick in the Draft, but the rest of the solid offensive line will return to protect Leary.
Let’s remember just how good this team was in ACC play in 2021, losing just two games by a combined four points. The Wolfpack to Clemson to overtime and actually wound up winning that game last year.
Conveniently enough, a rematch at Clemson could be the only game NC State winds up an underdog this season. Let’s start with the easy part — the Wolfpack have seven games that they will easily be favored in (potentially by double-digits, but let’s say by at least a touchdown in all seven). That’s a terrific start for our over.
Of course, we’ll chalk the Clemson spot up as a loss. Ultimately I think the revenge spot for Clemson could play a role, and the Tigers should win that game. But that spread is currently set at NC State +10, which I’d be very interested in.
That leaves us with four “coin flip” games to decide the outcome here. Just split those and go 2-2 and we should be looking at another 9-3 season here with a win on the over. But to lay -150 on an over at 8.5, we have to be pretty sure. I think I’m being generous with terming these games as coin flips, though — as I mentioned, I think the Wolfpack should wind up favored in all four.
Here are the games:
9/17 vs. Texas Tech
11/5 vs. Wake Forest
11/19 at Louisville
11/25 at North Carolina
I already wrote up my first win total, which happens to be a fade on UNC, so you can figure out how I feel about that game. Ultimately, I feel the Wolfpack will take three of those games, and we’ll be looking at a 10-win season here. All the pieces seem to be in place, particularly with elite quarterback play, and a veteran defense that we’ve seen have success.
Given my confidence in this team, I think it’s worth a sprinkle on extremely long odds for this team to win the ACC. It probably means they have to win at Clemson, but the Tigers could also slip up along the way with a lot of changes in that organization and poor QB play. If NC State is indeed a 10-win team, I’ll be kicking myself if I don’t have a piece of this.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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