Let’s see which team is the one who takes the win on this Tigers at Wolf Pack betting pick.
The Clemson Tigers are just -10 point favorites when they go on the road to face the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon. Sure the Tigers haven’t been their usual dominant selves this season, but this is still a squad full of 4 and 5 star recruits and a number of future pros.
That low spread could be a testament to the Wolfpack, as they’ve hung 45 points in two of three games this season.
Does Clemson Get “Back” Here
Dabo Swinney knew there would be some issues for his team to begin the 2021 season. The Tigers are not only replacing #1 NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence this season but also a two-time 1,600+ yard rusher in Travis Etienne.
Clemson is still 2-1 and atop the ACC to begin the year, and maybe they’ve gotten a couple down games out of the way? The Tigers’ only loss on the year came 10-3 to then #5 Georgia, where the offensive line failed them in giving up seven sacks against DJ Uiagalelei. Etienne’s loss was also evident against UGA as Clemson’s leading rusher had just 10 yards in that game.
The Tigers looked better in week 2, but they were supposed to in beating South Carolina State 49-3 as -51 point favorites. It’s last Saturday’s game that is still causing concern as Clemson beat Georgia Tech just 14-8 at home as -27.5 favorites. The Tigers beat the Yellow Jackets 73-7 on the road last season as GT finished the year 3-7.
NC State Smells the Upset
There’s no better time for the Wolfpack to be facing Clemson, as the Tigers were #7 in the country with 343 yards/game last season but are putting up just 188.7 so far in 2021. Uiagelelei is completing less than 60% of his passes for Clemson, has yet to throw for more than 200 yards, and has just 1 TD pass to 2 INT through three games.
NC State, meanwhile, has got their offense gelling behind Devin Leary, who has 6 TD to 2 INT on the year and is completing 67.3% of his passes. Leary has some weapons as Emeka Emezie has caught a pass in 35 straight games, while Devin Carter is a big target at 6’3″ and 216 pounds. RB Zonovan Knight is averaging over 100 all-purpose yards/game.
The Wolfpack returned nine starters to their defense from a year ago and are powered by two very good LBs in Isaiah Moore and Drake Thomas. They have had to lead the defense after last year’s leading tackler Payton Wilson was lost for the season with a shoulder injury in Week 1. NC State did give up 24 points in a loss to Mississippi State in Week 2 but held the Air Raid passing attack under 300 yards and kept the Bulldogs to just 22 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Clemson at NC State Pick
You always have to be wary of Clemson having that 60 or 70 point outburst like they’ve done so many times over the past couple of years, but it’s obvious that this offense is not the same without Lawrence manning the battleship.
NC State really is stacked on offense, and although putting up just 10 points on the horrible Mississippi State defense in Week 2 is a bit troubling, the Wolfpack have scored 45 in each of their first two home games. Leary is an experienced QB, and he’s got plenty of big bodies to throw to, as well as a very good RB.