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Clemson an early two-touchdown favorite over NC State

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

NC State will be a significant underdog again this weekend, though I'm sure that comes as a surprise to nobody. Clemson opened as 16.5-point favorites according to Vegas Insider; by late Sunday, that line had dipped to Clemson -14.5.

State's performance against FSU wasn't enough to convince me that it'll be competitive in Death Valley since Clemson's offense is beginning to look more dangerous now that Dabo Swinney has settled on freshman Deshaun Watson at quarterback. On the other hand, the Tigers were playing UNC--if there is a shakier defensive unit in the ACC than the Pack's, it's Carolina's.

So maybe the Tigers produced above their heads because of the competition, and State will be able to avoid a similar fate because of reasons I'll invent later this week. Yeah, let's go with that. I have no clue what will allow for that inevitable rationalization, but already I feel better about the game. See, this is how I end up deluding myself into a sense of confidence in the hours ahead of kickoff.