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Week 0, or college football’s opening weekend, whatever you want to call it, sucked for your boy. I took two tough L’s and my 2023 NCAAF betting balance is -2.3 units (u). But, I’m getting most of it back Thursday, Aug. 31st in this Week 1 matchup: NC State Wolfpack vs. the UConn Huskies.
Connecticut hosts NC State at Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Huskies 2nd-year head coach Jim Mora turned around UConn’s football program in his 1st season.
The Huskies didn’t play in 2020 but went 7-41 from 2017-21. Under Mora, UConn was 6-7 straight up (SU) last year and appeared in its 1st bowl game since 2016. Connecticut was 9-4 against the spread (ATS) in 2022 with a +6.2 ATS margin.
NC State went 8-5 SU and 4-9 ATS last season and lost the Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs. Maryland, 16-12. Former Wolfpack QB Devin Leary transferred to Kentucky. Leary only played six games last year after a 35/5 TD/INT rate in 2021.
The Wolfpack were 5-1 last season with Leary under center. NC State’s only loss in that span was at Clemson, 30-20, and the Wolfpack beat Florida State in its 6th game.
Former Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong Sr. transferred to NC State this offseason. After an amazing 2021 campaign, Armstrong stunk last year. He completed just 54.7% of his throws in 2022 for 2,210 yards and a 7/12 TD/INT rate.
NC State at UConn Week 1 odds (DraftKings)
After an amazing 2021 campaign, Armstrong stunk last year. Armstrong completed just 54.7% of his throws in 2022 for 2,210 yards and a 7/12 TD/INT rate. Yet Virginia switched coaches in between 2021-22.
Armstrong’s offensive coordinator from 2021, Robert Anae, is now NC State’s OC this year. In 2021, he had a 31/10 TD/INT rate with 4,449 yards and completed 65.2% of his passes. Which Armstrong will we see this year?
Even if Armstrong returns to his 2021 form, there’s still a chance he struggles out the gate. NC State loses its top-two WRs from last year. The Wolfpack’s offense were 88th in non-garbage time expected points added per play in 2022.
College football analyst Phil Steele projects NC State’s offense finishes 9th in the 2023 ACC (out of 14 teams) in points per game. He is usually accurate with his projections and, at best, the Wolfpack will have the 5th-best offense in the ACC this year.
UConn has the most returning talent in FBS, according to Steel. Furthermore, between pedigree and his NFL coaching experience, I’m higher on Mora entering Week 1 than NC State coach Dave Doeren.
Connecticut improved from one win in 2021 to six last year. And did so with atrocious QB-play, which almost has to get better this season. In 2022, UConn QBs completed just 56.9% of their passes for 1,455 yards and a 10/10 TD/INT rate.
Former Maine QB Joe Fagnano transferred to Storrs this offseason. His coach at Maine is current Huskies OC Nick Charlton. Not only does he know the system but, as CTInsider.com said, “Fagnano earned the job over two QBs who attracted Power 5 interest coming out of high school.”
The public is hammering NC State because it plays in a Power 5 conference and everyone has gotten used to the Huskies being terrible. NC State beat UConn 41-10 last year as -38.5 favorites and are only -15 right now.
Per Pregame.com, more than 85% of the bets are on NC State at the time of writing. But, slightly more money is on the Huskies and the line is moving toward Connecticut. The guys placing larger bets, aka wiseguys, are taking a position on UConn.
My plan of attack for NC State-UConn is bet the Huskies ATS and sprinkle on their moneyline (ML). UConn’s +500 ML is disrespectful. The implied win probability of that ML is 16.7%. UConn wins this game at least 20.0% of the time.
BET 1.1u on the Huskies +15 (-110) at DraftKings and ‘sprinkle’ 0.25u on Connecticut’s +500 moneyline
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