College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks for Louisiana Tech vs. NC State: Target Saturday’s Total (October 2)

College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks for Louisiana Tech vs. NC State: Target Saturday’s Total (October 2) article feature image
Credit:

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Leary.

  • The NC State Wolfpack will look to keep their momentum going on Saturday when they take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
  • The Wolfpack are coming off a huge win over Clemson and enter this game as big favorites.
  • Check out Alex Kolodziej's full betting guide below, featuring odds, picks, and predictions.

Louisiana Tech vs. NC State Odds

Louisiana Tech Odds +18.5 (-115)
NC State Odds -18.5 (-105)
Moneyline +700 / -1125
Over/Under 56
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Just days removed from potentially thrusting Clemson into a pre-Christmas bowl against some middling Big 12 opponent, head coach Dave Doeren and the North Carolina State Wolfpack are on top of the world.

But the program knows that sense of elation post-upset can be matched with misery tenfold if the club takes a scrappy Louisiana Tech Bulldogs club for granted.

NC State and Louisiana Tech both played a mutual opponent in Mississippi State earlier this year. The Group of Five squad nearly pulled off a shocker as a 23.5-point road dog. The ACC squad, meanwhile, lost by double digits as a road favorite.

It’s not the be-all, end-all for this handicap, but the Wolfpack are in a clear letdown spot, laying serious chalk off a big win.

Can the No. 23 team in the nation stay afloat for one more week before dipping back into conference play?


Louisiana Tech vs. NC State Betting Preview

Saturday, October 2
6 p.m. ET
ESPN+

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Louisiana Tech Offense

Quarterback Austin Kendall started the first three weeks of the season. The Big 12 transfer led the offense to 38.3 points and an even 434 yards per game out of the gates.

Aaron Allen, who played in all 10 games last year, got the nod last Saturday against North Texas in the wake of a scratched Kendall. Allen led the offense to a pair of early scoring drives, before being relieved by freshman JD Head.

A win’s a win, but La Tech collected just 286 total yards and zero second-half points despite an easy draw against a soft Mean Green defense.

Heading into Week 5, three of La Tech’s four quarterbacks are on the injury report.


Louisiana Tech Defense

Every opponent’s scored 35 points or more on the Bulldogs this season, save for North Texas last week (though allowing 42 to Southeastern Louisiana State in Week 2 should, at minimum, be a wash).

Yet, the Mean Green out-gained the Bulldogs by 46 yards Saturday, keeping upright one of the most mind-bending trends in college football.

Although Louisiana Tech has had a flair for the dramatics — the Bulldogs beat eventual Conference USA champion UAB last season, then gave Mississippi State a scare in Week 1 — the club’s been outgained in every single game against FBS opponents since the 2019 bowl clash against Miami — a sad, sad streak of 13 games.

The 2021 unit has been brutal across the board, ranking in the bottom-10 nationally in Havoc, Big Play, Finishing Drives and both Rushing and Passing Success Rate.

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NC State Wolfpack

North Carolina State Offense

This is an ideal get-right spot for quarterback Devin Leary, who despite bagging 10 touchdowns against two interceptions in 2021, enters Week 5 with an underwhelming 4.01 EPA.

He’s well behind some names you don’t want to be lumped in with.

National Rank QB/Team EPA
87 Jordan Travis (Florida State) 4.22
88 Will Howard (Kansas State) 3.26
89 N’Kosi Perry (FAU) 2.83
90 Jason Bean (Kansas) 2.25
91 Kurtis Rourke (Ohio) 2.10
92 DJ Irons (Akron) -2.86
93 Devin Leary (NC State) -4.01

Fortunately, the Wolfpack are getting a good push up front to unlock the running game.

They rank 14th in the country in Line Yards, springing Zonovan Knight for 6.5 yards a pop this season (good for 24th nationally among running backs).

NC State won’t hit a lot of home runs offensively, but it’ll create mismatches with its personnel.

Wide receivers Emeka Emezie and Devin Carter both stand at 6-foot-3 and can run. Thayer Thomas is an exceptional possession receiver, totaling 18 catches and owning a 17.6% reception share through the first month.


North Carolina State Defense

The Wolfpack have yet to surrender more than 14 points in regulation this season. Their 13.0 points per game allowed ranks sixth nationally.

The unit lost two key players in Week 2 when linebacker Payton Wilson and former Florida State safety Cyrus Fagan went down.

However, NC State hasn’t wavered on any of the three levels, ranking in the top 30 in both Rush and Pass Success Rate.

The defense is fresh off a banner day versus Clemson, limiting D.J. Uiagalelei to just 111 passing yards.


Louisiana Tech vs. NC State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Louisiana Tech and NC State match up statistically:

Louisiana Tech Offense vs. NC State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
121
15
Line Yards
77
73
Pass Success
59
29
Pass Blocking**
97
113
Big Play
49
27
Havoc
12
64
Finishing Drives
54
7
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

NC State Offense vs. Louisiana Tech Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
74
125
Line Yards
14
115
Pass Success
48
125
Pass Blocking**
24
76
Big Play
56
127
Havoc
39
121
Finishing Drives
40
126
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
24
15
PFF Coverage
7
38
Middle 8
119
31
SP+ Special Teams
94
86
Plays per Minute
26
66
Rush Rate
51.1% (87)
48.% (104)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


When Louisiana Tech isn’t giving up the big play, it’s been formidable wrapping up in the open field, ranking 24th in tackling. NC State’s been even better at 15.

The Bulldogs don’t offer much upside without Kendall under center. Plus, a team that prefers to pass is playing right into a Wolfpack secondary that is allowing just 9.7 yards per completion, a clip right outside the top-15 nationally.


Louisiana Tech vs. NC State Betting Pick

Kendall, Head and Luke Anthony are all doubtful or questionable for Saturday. Frankly, anyone not named Kendall starting for La Tech warrants a substantial offensive downgrade.

Louisiana Tech has played a handful of track meets this season. But the issues under center, parlayed with an opponent that doesn’t necessarily want to play a barn burner, should suppress the scoring in this game.

Bulldogs head coach Skip Holtz has gone under the total in 12 of the last 17 games as a road underdog. Doeren, meanwhile, has cashed nine of the last 10 unders as a home favorite.

The total is starting to crater, falling from 55 to 53. I’m content with playing this number at 52 or better, in a game that should feature very few explosive plays.

Pick: Under 53 (Play to 52)

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