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NC State an early 6.5-point favorite against UNC

Does that seem like a lot?

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina State William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Does Vegas know something about Sam Howell’s health that we don’t know? NC State being a touchdown favorite against the Tar Heels came as a bit of a surprise to me—it doesn’t feel like there’s that much difference between the two teams, though I’d be fine with being wrong.

Howell didn’t play in the Heels’ win over Wofford after suffering an injury at Pitt the week prior, but my understanding is that he’ll be ready to go against the Pack.

And UNC didn’t need him against Wofford, of course. The Heels won that game easily to improve to 6-5 heading into rivalry week. UNC has had its share of head-scratchers this season: losing by 23 to Georgia Tech, for instance, or by 10 at home to FSU. They also have three-point wins over Miami and Wake Forest.

They may have lost some weapons to the NFL this spring, but the offense is still excellent with Howell under center. UNC comes into this week averaging 37 points per game on 6.9 yards per play. Let’s hope State’s defense is up to the challenge.