NC State vs. Clemson Odds, Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Marquee College Football Matchup
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: DJ Uiagalelei (Clemson)
- No. 10 NC State travels to No. 5 Clemson to face off against the Tigers in a marquee Saturday night ACC college football matchup.
- Will weather impact either side in this matchup?
- Read below as Collin Wilson explains that and his best bet.
NC State vs. Clemson Odds
With plenty of preseason steam on NC State, head coach Dave Doeren starts conference play against the biggest name in the conference. For the Wolfpack to win the Atlantic division, they'll have to conquer a trio of 2-0 teams that await on their remaining schedule.
Florida State, Syracuse and Clemson all pose road blocks to an NC State team that survived non-conference play undefeated. The Wolfpack will not be short on confidence for this one after defeating this Clemson team 52 weeks ago.
While the teams should be the star of the show, Mother Nature looks to play an integral part.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The forecast of the storm is to head north on Interstate 95, passing through Clemson Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
As of this writing, heavy rain and gusts of more than 35 miles per hour await at kickoff. Wind generally flows from end zone to end zone, but Ian looks to bring wind in a stiff south-southwest direction that will diagonally affect every pass and kick.
Doeren was the only head coach in the ACC to keep both coordinators. The continuity in the coaching staff and lack of player turnover helped the Wolfpack survive their opener against East Carolina.
The defense has been excellent since Week 1, allowing less than 160 total yards to both Charleston Southern and UConn. This is the top-ranked defense in the nation in terms of Passing Success Rate from a schedule that includes Texas Tech.
The top-20 Havoc ranking is powered by 23 apiece in pass breakups and tackles for loss.
A top-30 ranking against the rush is also a plus for the defense, especially with Doeren having previously coached in these weather conditions.
Hurricane Matthew passed through the Carolinas in 2016, interrupting a 10-3 NC State win over Notre Dame. Doeren recalled the affair where the pass-based offense tallied just 14 drop backs.
The Wolfpack have been a balanced offense, ranking top-40 in both Line Yards and Passing Success Rate.
Quarterback Devin Leary has nine touchdowns to just two interceptions, but the advanced numbers tell a different story. Leary logged three Turnover Worthy Plays against UConn, though just one resulted in an interception.
The fourth-year signal caller has the lowest Big Time Throw rate of his career, and generated nothing against a Texas Tech defense that is 93rd in coverage.
Wake Forest took the Tigers to double overtime and lost when Sam Hartman failed to gain a first down on targets to Blake Whiteheart and A.T. Perry. The Demon Deacons took control in the second half as Hartman chopped up a Clemson secondary that was missing several players.
Both safety Andrew Mukuba and corner Sheridan Jones have returned to the depth chart, a must-needed boost for a defense that ranks 70th in coverage.
The secondary may improve from an experience and depth perspective, but this game could be all about the rush defense.
Power Five offenses have been held in check by Clemson, as Georgia Tech and Wake Forest combined for 183 total rushing yards.
This is the second-best defense in terms of limiting the explosive rush, allowing just one attempt to exceed 20 yards. The Tigers are playing behind the line of scrimmage, logging the 12th-most tackles for loss.
The Clemson offense has been just as productive on the ground. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is a power back in the run game, gaining 155 yards on designed plays. His weight loss over the summer has translated to a higher rate of scramble yards and an astronomical increase in missed tackles created.
Uiagalelei had just 14 missed tackles in 110 rushing attempts prior to this season. That number has already increased this season, with 18 missed tackles created on just 28 rushing attempts.
Those numbers have been overlooked after a career passing day against Wake Forest.
All 5️⃣ of DJ Uiagalelei’s passing touchdowns against Wake Forest 👀 pic.twitter.com/ah41IPJesc
— Nathan Fry (@FrySports) September 25, 2022
NC State vs. Clemson Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how NC State and Clemson match up statistically:
NC State Offense vs. Clemson Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Clemson Offense vs. NC State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||12||48|
|Seconds per Play||27.6 (90)||25.3 (37)|
|Rush Rate||50.2% (87)||51.2% (84)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
NC State vs. Clemson Betting Pick
This game is expected to be a sloppy affair determined by ball protection and the play in the trenches. The arm strength of both Uiagalelei and Leary may not matter with forecasted gusts of 40 miles per hour.
While both teams have two lost fumbles, it's the Clemson defense that plays behind the line of scrimmage with more frequency.
Furthermore, tackling is important in every college football game, but becomes a bigger point of emphasis through a tropical storm.
The Wolfpack have yet to establish a dominant identity in establishing the rush, with a blocking grade outside the top 50.
While Line Yards belong to the offensive line, highlight yards belong to the running back, and there have been plenty of highlight yards for Demie Sumo-Karngbaye.
The freshman averages 4.9 yards after contact and owns the fifth-highest elusiveness grade of any running back with a minimum of 35 attempts.
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) September 3, 2022
Clemson has the advantage in one-on-one tackles, grading 23rd vs. NC State's 111th ranking in tackle grading per PFF.
The Action Network makes Clemson a touchdown favorite, giving small value to any number south of seven.
Uiagalelei is coming off the best passing game of his career, aiding an already impressive rushing game from a missed tackles perspective.
NC State may be forced to abandon its 3-3-5 principles if the weather dictates a strict diet of rushing attempts from both teams.
Considering Clemson is averaging 5.5 points per scoring opportunity, this game belongs to the Tigers.
As for the total, the key number of 41 is dependent on wind speed. If the wind drops below 20 miles per hour, look for Leary to target a recovering secondary and push this game over the total.