North Carolina State Betting Odds Preview
The coach O'Brien era is over in Raleigh and NC State fans are left wondering what it was all for: Six seasons, zero division titles, a couple of minor bowl wins, that's about it. Now Dave Doeren, who managed to take Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl last year, takes over a program in search of an identity. Is State ever going to be a contender, or just a pretender?
NC State had 13 starters back last season, and while it wasn't expected to contend for the ACC crown another bowl bid seemed perfectly possible. And that's basically how things played out. State opened 3-1, with a loss to Tennessee, then began ACC play with a seven-point loss at Miami. The Pack then pulled off a nice upset, rallying for two fourth-quarter scores, the second with less than a minute to go, to beat Florida State 17-16.
They followed that up with a win at Maryland, but then lost on a long late touchdown at North Carolina. Then in a game that really hurt the Pack fell flat at home against Virginia, losing 33-6 as 10-point favorites. State then beat Wake Forest, gave up 62 points in a loss to Clemson, beat Boston College, and then lost to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl to finish at 7-6. The Wolfpack also went just 5-8 ATS last season, thanks in part to a -9 turnover margin. Between the regular-season finale and the bowl game State let O'Brien go, and later replaced him with Doeren, a former Wisconsin assistant who went 23-4 in two season at Northern Illinois and likes to run the ball.
Doeren inherits a squad with just 10 returning starters, fewest in the ACC. Five starters return on offense, including leading rusher Shadrach Thornton, and just five are back on defense, three on the line. So the Pack has to replace QB Mike Glennon, three starters on the offensive line, and five of the defensive back seven.
Fortunately, the schedule is kind. State has to play at Florida State, but its other three conference road games are winnable. And they get Clemson, North Carolina, and Maryland at home. There are holes to fill on the field but with help from a light slate a bowl bid in the first season under the new regime is attainable.
ACC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 30
Florida State +240
Virginia Tech +775
North Carolina +850
Georgia Tech +1050
NC State +7000
Boston College +8500
Wake Forest +15000