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Oddsmakers Set the Number at 62 as NC State and Arizona State Tangle

Will points be on the horizon as the NC State Wolfpack and Arizona State Sun Devils get ready to go at it in the 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl? The number is set at 62, up from a 60.5 open which would suggest the two balanced offenses are ready to bring it on Friday afternoon from El Paso. Both teams can put the ball in the end zone via either the run or the pass – but will the awkward coaching situation ASU is facing help them, or ground them in the 12/29 college football free pick?

The Dual Threat of NC State Leads to an Over

12/29 college football free pick
Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels have the Wolfpack ‘O’ flying high.

 

Both teams have offensive superstars all around the field. Start with NC State, who had a 3,000 yard passer in Ryan Finley as well as a 1,000 yard rusher in Nyheim Hines. That duo combined for 28 TDs on the year for a Wolfpack team that averaged over 30 points per game. Throw in the versatility of Fullback, H-back, Tight End Jaylen Samuels and you’ll see why ASU defensive coordinator Phil Bennett is having nightmares coming up with this game plan – but more on the Sun Devils coaching later.

NC State has the added advantage of going against an ASU defense that hasn’t been very good. The Sun Devils allow nearly 450 yards per game and almost 270 through the air. Arizona State yields close to 180 yards on the ground and allows 31.2 points per game. ASU has allowed 30+ points in four of the past five games which could be pushing the 12/29 college football free pick towards the ‘over.’

Will the Arizona State Offense Force the Under?

12/29 college football free pick
Wilkins knows a Sun Bowl win would be a great send off for his former coach.

In normal circumstances, ASU would be fully expected to put up some points in the 12/29 college football free pick – we know their defense is going to allow them. Manny Wilkins commands the passing attack as he tossed for 2918 yards and 17TD (against just 5 INT). Wilkins has led the ASU offense to 37+ points in four straight games but is hardly a one man show. 6’4″ WR N’Keal Harry hauled in 73 catches for 1,000 yards this season and ASU features a two-headed monster at RB in Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage (1,634 yards and 18 TD total). The Sun Devils were top 50 in every major offensive category this year.

Of course about those circumstances. The Sun Bowl is going to be an awkward one for ASU coach Todd Graham who is going to be on the sidelines despite being fired and replaced by Herm Edwards after the regular season ended. You never know how players are going to respond to a lame duck coach in a bowl game. One positive note for the Sun Devils is that star NC State DE Bradley Chubb is likely going to sit out this game due to the combination of being injured / being a top pick in the NFL draft not wanting to get hurt more seriously.

12/29 College Football Free Pick – Betting

Both offenses can put up points and the normally strong NC State defense isn’t going to be at full strength thanks to Chubb sitting out. Oddsmakers have set the total at 62, which is a lot of points especially when ASU could come out flat knowing a coaching change is imminent. Then again, Arizona State should want to send the coaching staff that recruited them out in style. This game has all the makings of a shootout.

Free Pick: NC State / Arizona State ‘Over’ 62

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Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor.

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