This game looked a little better at the beginning of the season, but the only thing in play Thursday night is NC State’s bowl eligibility. That didn’t stop Georgia Tech from opening as -1 point home favorites.
This is a matchup between two teams who have been terrible against the spread, combining to go 4-16 this season. Georgia Tech may be playing better, though losing by 45 points at home to Virginia Tech last weekend wasn’t great.
At the least, it was competitive in prior games against Virginia and Pitt, and even had a random win at Miami. NC State has had issues almost the entire season with four wins only because of an easy non-conference slate.
The Wolfpack have been bad on both sides of the ball and they’ve been worse on the road. They’re allowing almost 30 points per game, though a surprisingly solid 3.5 yards per carry.
That run defense could come up big in this matchup because that’s where the Yellow Jackets attack, with running back Jordan Mason averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
When he can’t find room, this offense struggles to move the ball, which is why they’ve had some down outings, such as failing to score against the Hokies. Quarterback James Graham has yet to show anything, completing 47.5% of his passes for 6.3 yards per attempt.
Then again, these numbers aren’t too surprising since most of their players were recruited for the triple-option. If NC State’s run defense stays strong, there’s a decent chance Tech won’t surpass 20 points.
The same can’t be said for the Yellow Jackets, who are allowing more than 200 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry. Of course, that may not matter for an NC State offense that struggles to move the ball against every opponent.
Running back Zonovan Knight has had some decent performances, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, but they usually have to give up the run because of their defense.
The Wolfpack have similar quarterback issues with Devin Leary now under center and he’s also completing less than 50 percent of his passes on 5.6 yards per attempt.
These teams have terrible ATS records for a reason, but NC State’s rush defense might be what stands out most in terms of stats. If they can stop the run while also getting Knight going on the other end, the advantage has to go to the Wolfpack.
Considering neither one of these teams is easy to trust, it may be best to back the team who is better in the trenches.
NC State has failed to cover its last six road games and Georgia Tech has failed to cover its last seven at home. The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these schools. The road team is 5-0-1 ATS in the last six and the underdog is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine.
Our Pick – NC State +2 and Under 47.5