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While this Atlantic Coast Conference contest is not even the most important game on Thursday night, there is more than enough intrigue for those surfing channels and college football bettors alike.



2008-10-16

While this Atlantic Coast Conference contest is not even the most important game on Thursday night, there is more than enough intrigue for those surfing channels and college football bettors alike. Let's start with the TMZ-like stuff first. Long time Florida State assistant coach Chuck Amato left Tallahassee to coach is alma mater N.C. State in 2000 and his teams were known for undisciplined play, winning when they shouldn't and losing when they should. His most notable accomplishment (besides the weird sunglasses) was beating the Seminoles three times, twice in North Florida. After being fired in 2006 for a 3-9 season in Raleigh, Bobby Bowden brought him back as linebacker coach and the Chuckster returns to the Cater-Finley Stadium for the first time since.

The first really big question is how does the Wolfpack extend spread cover record to 7-1 against Florida State? For practical purposes let's assume it won't be from running the ball, with N.C. State 117th in the country toting the pigskin and the Seminoles fifth stopping opposing ball carriers. Maybe the Wolfpack players will all excited to play on Thursday night before the home crowd and unknowingly raise their record to 8-0 ATS after gaining 100 or less rushing yards in two straight games. Yea, that's gonna happen, let's get out the lipstick for the pig.
Passing the ball is not a great option, as Wolfpack quarterbacks complete less than 50 percent of their attempts. No wonder Sportsbook.com has N.C. State as a 10.5-point home underdog, their offense is downright offensive.

Moving on, can the Wolfpack defense help pull the upset? Looking at the numbers at face value, the answer would be unequivocal, NO. They give up 430 yards a game compared to the teams they've played that have averaged 359 yards a game. That's a difference of 71 yards (those high school math classes paying off again) which makes this as likely to happen as Linda and Hulk Hogan getting back together.

Does this mean N.C. State has no shot? No, no, no, of course not. Were talking a hulking young men interested in women, video games, UFC and women (not necessarily in that order). The Florida State offensive line is WAY better than what they have had in the last five years, yet is won't be mentioned among the best 20 in the country. Stoic coach Tom O'Brien defense has to jam up the middle and take away Florida State run game. The idea is to force frosh QB Christian Ponder to be a playmaker as passer. Ponder is completing 40 percent of his passes for 165 yards a game in last three outings. Bobby Bowden's team is starting to look more like the Navy offense than the Noles. Make Ponder ponder about passing and maybe N.C. State can improve to 7-2 in ACC games.

Let's not forget, Florida State has beaten two FCS teams, Colorado and the U (Miami), with the latter two both .500. Offensive prosperity has not officially returned just yet with head-coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher running the offense. The Seminoles are 0-6 ATS in next game if oddsmakers have a line on it after cracking the 40 point barrier. Bowden's bunch is 4-10 against the spread after holding a team to under the century mark rushing the ball.

I'll give very shaky support to the cranked up home team to cover. What I really prefer is the total which is at 47.5. Turnovers could turn this into a loser for this guest writer, but what the heck, I found out Florida State is 12-3 Under as a road favorite of 7.5 to 14 points, with average score coming in at just a hair over 42 points. N.C. State is 12-3 Under playing on Thursday's with average score a trifle beyond 44 total points.

In conclusion, I'm betting the Under and still thinking about a parlay with the total and Wolfpack and you can do whatever you like. Thanks for reading.


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