It is inarguably a big week for both NC State and Syracuse, which head into their Thursday night meeting with identical 3-2 records. Neither one has a win against a power-five opponent, and both could badly use the confidence boost heading into the second half of their schedules.
NC State opened as a modest 4.5-point favorite against the Orange, which is about what I expected given where the two teams stand in SP+. Take out 2.5 points for home field and there’s not a lot of difference between them.
The Orange have wins over Liberty, Western Michigan, and Holy Cross but were smoked by Clemson and crushed 62-20 by Maryland. That Maryland performance is far worse than anything NC State’s done this season.
Syracuse’s offense hasn’t been as effective this season thanks to a decline in production on the ground, and the Orange have also seen their extremely fortunate turnover luck in 2018 regress back to normalcy. The Orange finished last season +13 in turnover margin—a +1 per-game average—and this year they are only +1 through five games.