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NC State opens as five-point favorite over Louisville

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

NC State is a Vegas favorite for the fifth consecutive week, but this time it counts. Or rather, this time it's a conference game, and the line is fairly tight. NC State opened as a five-point favorite over Louisville, and if we remove home field from the equation, the idea is that State is a couple points better than the Cardinals.

Louisville started 2015 with losses to Auburn, Houston, and Clemson. That's a really tough start to a season--Auburn's crumminess aside--which is to say the Cardinals are much better than their 1-3 record. Those are the breaks, and Louisville has to recover from a lot of unfortunateness.

Louisville's defense remains outstanding. That group can be a difference-maker, and might need to be, considering the Cards' quarterback issues. But Louisville also has been vulnerable to opposing rushing attacks in the early going, which should be a deep concern for the Cardinals this week.

Five points? That sounds kind. You better find Jaylen Samuels.