College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Louisville vs NC State: Expect Wolfpack to Contain Malik Cunningham

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Louisville vs NC State: Expect Wolfpack to Contain Malik Cunningham article feature image

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  • NC State takes on Louisville in an ACC showdown at Carter-Finley Stadium.
  • The Wolfpack are looking to rebound following a disappointing loss to Miami last week.
  • Alex Hinton breaks down the matchup and offers up his top pick.

Louisville vs. NC State Odds

Saturday, Oct. 30
7:30 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Louisville Odds
-105o / -115u
NC State Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

With Clemson's fall from grace this season, it feels like every division game in the Atlantic takes on added significance.

Louisville comes into this one at 4-3 overall and 2-2 in ACC play. It still has a little life in the Atlantic Division race, but it will need a lot of help with two conference losses already, including a loss to Wake Forest.

NC State is 5-2 overall and 2-1 in ACC play. The Wolfpack control their own destiny in the Atlantic with a win over Clemson and a game looming against Wake Forest in a few weeks. A win over Louisville would be another step in the right direction.

Louisville has won six of the nine meetings in this series, though NC State has won two of the last three.

Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Offense

Louisville has a balanced attack led by dual-threat quarterback Malik Cunningham. Cunningham has 21 total touchdowns (eight passing, 13 rushing), 2,164 yards of total offense and only four interceptions.

Jalen Mitchell flanks Cunningham in the backfield. He has 424 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Relying on the ground attack could prove to be difficult this week as NC State ranks 10th in rushing yards allowed per game (93.3) and fourth in Rushing Success Rate.

Cunningham does a good job of distributing the ball to his receivers. The Cardinals have five pass catchers with over 200 yards receiving, led by Marshon Ford, who has 30 receptions for 313 yards.

Louisville Defense

If it feels like Louisville is involved in a shootout every week, it's because it usually is. The Cardinals have allowed 30 points four times in the first seven games and are 76th in scoring defense.

Defending the pass has been the main area of weakness. The Cardinals are 117th in passing yards allowed.

The Cardinals have also struggled to create pressure on the quarterback. The Cardinals rank 121st in pass-rush grade.

The additional time in the pocket has led to many big plays being surrendered. The Cardinals are 121st in big play percentage allowed.

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NC State Wolfpack

NC State Offense

NC State has been highly productive on offense this season and is led by quarterback Devin Leary. Leary is completing 65% of his passes with 17 touchdown passes and two interceptions.

His offensive line has done a nice job of keeping him clean, ranking fourth in Havoc allowed and 17th in pass blocking grade.

Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. form one of the most potent running back duos in the country. Each averages over five yards per carry and has over 400 rushing yards this season.

Emeka Emezie is a No. 1 receiver for the Wolfpack and he leads the team with 37 receptions for 452 yards.

NC State Defense

NC State has one of the best defenses in the country this season. The Wolfpack rank in the top 20 in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense. Additionally, the Wolfpack are 22nd in Passing Success Rate.

Last week, NC State played its worst game of the season defensively. Miami put up 31 points and 420 yards of total offense.

Louisville vs. NC State Matchup Analysis

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

Louisville Offense vs. NC State Defense
Rush Success384
Line Yards4014
Pass Success4322
Pass Blocking**2863
Big Play4152
Finishing Drives4341
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

NC State Offense vs. Louisville Defense
Rush Success6785
Line Yards28108
Pass Success4135
Pass Blocking**17121
Big Play87121
Finishing Drives44112
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling6814
Middle 84928
SP+ Special Teams4247
Plays per Minute8982
Rush Rate56.5% (57)47.3% (113)

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

Louisville vs. NC State Betting Pick

Louisville and NC State are both capable of putting a lot of points on the board, however, NC State has a more complete team.

NC State will have a significant advantage in the trenches against Louisville, particularly in Line Yards on both sides of the ball.

Leary will not be under much pressure from the Louisville pass rush and he will have time to pick apart a shaky Louisville secondary. Knight and Persons Jr. provide balance in the running game, as well.

Louisville can be a bit dependent on Cunningham. If NC State bottles him up, Louisville will have a hard time winning this game.

The over merits consideration, however, I trust NC State's defense to get more stops than Louisville and thus, allow NC State to win this one comfortably.

I like NC State to cover at home in this one.

Pick: NC State -6.5 

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