NC State @ East Carolina
East Carolina +12 -110 over NC State

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Posted at 9:00 AM EST and odds are subject to change.

East Carolina +12 over NC State

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium - Greenville, NC

Steaming: ESPN

12:00 PM EST. Expectations are off the charts at N.C. State this season, as Dave Doeren returns a plethora of seniors, who are taking advantage of extended eligibility due to COVID. The #13 team in the nation went 9-3 last season while posting a 6-2 mark in the ACC. That was good enough for a Holiday Bowl appearance. Doeren has made sure to fill his non-conference schedule with games against cupcakes like Charleston Southern, UConn and East Carolina (ECU). However, he might have bitten off more than he can chew with in-state rivals ECU, who are pushovers no more.

In year three under coach Mike Houston, the Pirates looked like a team that found its form. ECU went 7-14 in Houston’s first two seasons, but matched that win total in 2021 with a 7-5 mark. That was good for a Military Bowl bid, but unfortunately, that game against Boston College was canceled due to COVID.

There is reason for excitement in Greenville. The Pirates will return 14 starters from last season, including quarterback Holton Ahlers. The Pirates are going to be a tough team to beat on the ground with the two-headed monster of Keaton Mitchell and Rahjai Harris in the backfield. Everyone that helped to lead the Pirates to their highest rushing totals in over 20 years is back for another go. That includes Ahlers, who is just 221 yards from setting the ECU career record for quarterback rushing yards. With a veteran offensive line in front of them, the Pirates are poised to score and score big.

On defense, the Pirates sport one of, if not the best linebacker tandems in the AAC with Xavier Smith and Myles Berry poised to rack up the tackles. Smith was a standout as an edge rushing hybrid, but he officially made the move to the LB core and the inside position. In addition to those two seniors, the Pirates return Reliable Rick D'Abreu, Immanuel Hickman, nose tackle Elijah Morris and Jeremy Lewis to a defensive line that is loaded with depth. Lewis put up four sacks and 49 total tackles.

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter, which is can the Pirates win this game? You’re damn right they can. We’re not ones to pass up inflated points, but when we back a team in this range, we do so because we trust they have a great shot to win. The talking heads would treat that possibility as a total shocker, but we all know better. The Pirates are at home, facing an in-state rival from a Power Five conference, which should provide plenty of motivation. Mix in that the Wolfpack come into this game with a ranking beside their name, and you’ve got the recipe for one hell of an afternoon in Greenville. We’ll take the points, but are going to be playing the Pirates outright on our true odds money line parlays.

Our Pick

East Carolina +12 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)

Texas A&M -2 -107 over Arkansas
Iowa State -2½ -110 over Baylor
Buffalo +195 over Eastern Michigan
Texas Tech +7 -110 over Texas
Louisiana Tech +13 -110 over South Alabama
Oregon State +185 over USC