NC State vs. Louisville - 10/5/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Louisville Cardinals (4-1) at NC State Wolfpack (4-1)
College Football: Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Carter-Finley Stadium)
The Line: NC State Wolfpack +3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
On Thursday evening down at Carter-Finley, the Louisville Cardinals and the NC State Wolfpack will be meeting up in college football action.
Louisville has been playing well so far, and they sit at 4-1 on the year. The Cardinals fell to Clemson on the 16th, but otherwise have recorded wins over Purdue, North Carolina, Kent State and Murray State. In that Murray State game, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson went off for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-26 passing, and also led the rush on seven carries for 100 yards and a TD. The Cards won 55-10.
USA TODAY Sports
So far this year, Jackson has tallied 1636 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions while also leading the Cardinals on the ground with 72 carries for 437 yards and five TDs. Jaylen Smith is Jackson’s favorite receiver, and the two have hooked up 22 times for 379 yards and two touchdowns.
Over on the NC State side, they’re currently 4-1 as well. The Wolfpack opened up the year with a loss to South Carolina, then rattled off victories over Marshall, Furman, Florida State and Syracuse. In that Orange game, NC State QB Ryan Finley posted a 20-of-33 line for 186 yards and one score, while Nyheim Hines had 19 carries for 115 yards and a TD. Stephen Louis had four grabs for 67 yards and the receiving TD.
On the season, Finley has 1403 yards and nine touchdowns, while Hines leads the NC State rush on 411 yards and three TDs from 82 carries. Jaylen Samuels is the top Wolfpack receiver with 43 catches for 321 yards and three scores.
The Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up win, and 1-5 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss. Louisville is also 1-6 ATS in their last seven games in October and 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall.
Meanwhile, the Wolfpack are 4-1 ATS in their last five Thursday games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. NC State is also 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games versus a team with a winning road record and 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.
Aside from that loss to South Carolina (which seems like ages ago and is a game the Wolfpack should have won), NC State has been quite impressive so far. They made short work of Marshall and Furman, then continued the roll with strong performances against the better competition of Florida State and Syracuse. That said, Louisville’s Jackson is going to be the key here, as he has been in most of the Cardinals’ other games. He’s going to be difficult to contain, and I don’t think the NC State defense is going to be able to cap him well enough to get close here. I’ll take Louisville for a cover.