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27
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25
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20
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3
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31
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3
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27
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24
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3
2nd Q
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Tomorrow, 1:15 AM
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Wed 12/2, 12:10 AM
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Steelers
PIT -10 O/U 41

Liberty vs. NC State Features A High Over/Under Line

The 65-point over/under line is the largest total that NC State has seen this season

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Quick-Hitters

  • Despite losing their starting quarterback to injury, NC State has hit the over in two of their last three games.

  • The Liberty offense has averaged 40 points per game. The consistency has led the Flames to a 6-2 over/under record and a 6-2 ATS record.

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NC State Trends

The NC State Wolfpack have flown a bit under the radar this season. Wins over the likes of Wake Forest, Virginia, and Pitt have NC State sitting at 5-3 on the season. The three losses have taken the Wolfpack out of contention for a spot in the ACC Championship Game; however, NC State has done enough to be considered the best team in the league’s second tier. They'll be favored in their three remaining games, putting them in a good position to finish with an impressive 8-3 record.

The caveat for NC State’s season is that they’ve lost two of their last three games since starting quarterback Devin Leary went down with an injury. Backup Bailey Hockman has been steady as Leary’s replacement, but there’s clearly been a drop off, especially since Hockman has thrown an interception in all three of his starts. Nevertheless, the NC State offense remains dangerous because of a solid backfield duo in Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person, as well as two quality playmakers at receiver in Emeka Emezie and Thayer Thomas.

Despite the change at quarterback, NC State has hit the over in two of their last three games.

Meanwhile, the Wolfpack is still trying to sort through some issues on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve managed to get by against some of the weaker teams in the ACC, but NC State has also conceded at least 40 points in half of their games this season. For the most part, the Wolfpack has been vulnerable against good rushing teams, especially teams that have a mobile quarterback. They’ve given up over 300 rushing yards in multiple games this season, so there are games when they can’t get a handle on the running game at all.

Undefeated Liberty

For Hugh Freeze and the Liberty Flames, the 2020 season has been nothing short of a dream. This is only Liberty’s second season at the FBS level, and yet they're 8-0 and in the top-25. Of course, two of those wins have come against FCS teams while a few others have been against some of the worst teams at the FBS level. However, wins over ACC opponents Syracuse and Virginia are evidence that the Flames are for real.

The Liberty offense is averaging over 40 points per game on the season. Again, the team’s schedule has contributed to that. However, quarterback Malik Willis has been a one-man wrecking crew this year. The Auburn transfer is Liberty’s leading rusher, gaining 7.0 yards per tote. Willis has also been a competent passer, which has been the key to Liberty’s offensive success. The quarterback has thrown 15 touchdown passes and just one interception. When opposing defenses crowd the line of scrimmage, Willis has proven himself capable of throwing the ball over the top for big gains.

Much of this offensive consistency has led to Liberty going 6-2 ATS.

Alas, the Liberty defense remains a bit of a question mark, at least against power-conference opponents. The likes of Florida International, Southern Miss, and Virginia Tech have all scored over 30 points against the Flames this year. Teams with a strong rushing attack that can remain balanced on offense have given Liberty the most trouble this season. Freeze is still working on upgrading the talent on that side of the ball, which is why the Flames are often forced to win high-scoring games.

Liberty's over/under record stands at 6-2 this seasonl.

Over Or Under?

Get ready for a high-scoring contest between the Wolfpack and the Flames. NC State’s defense hasn’t done enough this year to make anyone think they’ll be able to slow down the Liberty running game. Of course, the same can be said of the Liberty defense, even if the Wolfpack is playing a backup quarterback. In the end, this game could come down to what team has the ball last or what team has an untimely turnover.

A high-scoring affair is likely, but the 65-point over/under line is the largest that NC State has seen this season, including the second-largest total that Liberty has seen this season.

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