Weekday NCAAF betting preview: Syracuse vs. NC State & 2 more

Ashley Anderson

October 9th, 2019

+4.5 (-110)
Over 55.5 (-110)
North Carolina State
-4.5 (-110)
Under 55.5 (-110)
The Atlantic Coast Conference takes over prime time Thursday night, as the Syracuse Orange visit the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Both 3-2, the teams enter play this week off a bye and are seeking for their first conference win.

NC State faced Florida State in its last game (a 31-13 loss), in which sophomore quarterback Matthew McKay got benched in favor of transfer Bailey Hockman. The one-time Florida State recruit completed 21 of his 40 passes for 208 yards against his former team and will get the start against Syracuse.

While the Wolfpack will attempt to solve its issues at quarterback, Syracuse’s signal-caller has enjoyed back-to-back games with four passing touchdowns. Sophomore Tommy Devito notched five total scores in a 52-33 win over Western Michigan, then put up another four on Holy Cross.

Devito suffered an upper-body injury in Syracuse’s 41-3 rout of the Crusaders but is expected to play Thursday. He’ll need to look out for Wolfpack defensive tackle Larrell Murchison, who has tallied five sacks on the season (tied for 16th in the nation).
Syracuse is much more reliant on the pass, whereas NC State’s strength has been its arsenal of running backs. Freshman Zonovan Knight has totaled 293 yards and three touchdowns on 54 carries, while Jordan Houston has added another 226 yards and two scores, and Ricky Person Jr. has piled on 202 yards and reached the end zone twice.

Syracuse is allowing opponents 158 yards per game on the ground and 280.2 through the air.

Pick: NC State -4.5

Louisiana-Monroe at Texas State, Thursday, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Louisiana Monroe
-3.5 (-105)
Over 61.5 (-110)
Texas State
+3.5 (-115)
Under 61.5 (-110)
Following the ACC’s showdown, Louisiana-Monroe and Texas State will square off in a Sun Belt Conference clash.

Texas State is riding a two-game win streak after a 0-3 start against Texas A&M (41-7), Wyoming (23-14) and SMU (47-17). Neither of the Bobcats’ victories have been outstanding. They edged Georgia State by three points at home, then handed Nicholls State a 24-3 loss in a game that was 3-3 at halftime.

Monroe hasn’t experienced the best start, either. The Warhawks kicked off the season with a 31-9 victory over Grambling and grabbed a 30-17 win over South Alabama at home in Week 5, but their losses haven’t been pretty. Iowa State demolished Monroe 72-20 and Memphis handed the team a 52-33 defeat. The Warhawks did keep it close at Florida State and fell 45-44 in overtime.
Monroe averages 249.4 yards per game passing and 220.2 yards per game rushing (27th in the nation). Texas State, meanwhile, averages 242.4 yards passing and just 81 yards rushing, third-worst in the FBS.

Neither team is good at defending the run, and both rank toward the bottom in rushing defense. You can expect a huge game from Monroe’s Josh Johnson, who averages 7.1 yards per carry, and solid output from dual-threat quarterback Caleb Evans (286 rushing yards, 15 total touchdowns).

Pick: Louisiana-Monroe -3.5

Appalachian State at Louisiana Lafayette, Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Appalachian State
+1.5 (-110)
Over 69.5 (-110)
Louisiana Lafayette
-1.5 (-110)
Under 69.5 (-110)
The undefeated Appalachian State Mountaineers will look to extend their win streak to 11 (last loss was to Georgia Southern in October of last year) when they visit Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday night.

The Ragin’ Cajuns own one loss to Mississippi State, 38-28, which came in their home opener, but have since been on a roll, with wins over Liberty, Texas Southern, Ohio and Georgia Southern.

Lafayette is a run-first offense, with Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell combining to create one dominant force in the backfield. Ragas has put up 548 yards and six touchdowns on 56 carries, while Mitchell has turned his 67 attempts into 402 yards and nine scores. The Ragin' Cajuns rank first in the nation in rushing, with 314 yards per game.
The Mountaineers also feature a workhorse back in Darrynton Evans, who has tallied 471 yards and nine touchdowns on 67 carries. Quarterback Zac Thomas is completing 71.9% of his passes for Appalachian State and has thrown seven touchdowns to two interceptions. Thomas Hennigan and Malik Williams lead the team in receiving, with 275 and 232 yards, respectively.

The Mountaineers give up 165 rushing yards per game and 255 passing yards per contest. The Ragin' Cajuns allow 158.6 yards on the ground and just 186.6 through the air.

Pick: Louisiana-Lafayette -1.5

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