WOLFPACK WOEFUL ON THE ROAD
The NC State Wolfpack need wins in their final two games to earn bowl eligibility – and the first part of that challenge could prove difficult as they visit Georgia Tech on Thursday. While the Yellow Jackets have struggled all season (2-8 SU, 2-8 ATS) and are coming off a humbling 45-0 loss to Virginia Tech, they had shown plenty of fight in the three games previous to that and will have the home-field edge Thursday night against a Wolfpack team that has been downright dismal on the road. NC State is 0-4 SU and ATS in away games this season and has allowed an average of 41 points in those games.
While we aren't ready to crown Georgia Tech a winner given how it has played, we do feel confident that the Yellow Jackets can do enough on offense to surpass their team total.
HALMER IN DOUBT FOR SATURDAY
The Penn State Nittany Lions might have to face the powerhouse Ohio State Buckeyes without their top receiver in the lineup. K.J. Hamler's status is very much in doubt has he recovers from an undisclosed injury suffered in the first quarter of last week's victory over the Indiana Hoosiers. Hamler spent time in the medial tent immediately after he was hit on a kick return, and spent the rest of the game on the sidelines. His absence would be a significant loss for the Nittany Lions, with Hamler entering the weekend ranked fourth in the Big Ten Conference in receiving yards (791) and receiving scores (eight).
The line for this game is heavily favored toward the Buckeyes, and the potential absence of Hamler is only going to send more bettors toward Ohio State. We like the Under on Penn State's team total in hostile territory.
WHO'S STARTING IN HAWAII
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors have yet to decide on a starting quarterback for Saturday's Mountain West encounter with the visiting San Diego State Aztecs. Both Cole McDonald and Chevan Cordeiro have been benched for one another in the previous two games, though Hawaii went on to win both games while averaging 31.5 points per game in that span. McDonald leads the conference in passing scores (25) and ranks second in passing yards (3,007) but has also thrown 12 interceptions, second-most in the Mountain West. Cordeiro has thrown for 727 yards with six TDs and three INTs.
It shouldn't matter who starts for the Rainbow Warriors in this one: They've averaged better than 35 points per game this season and will look to keep the pace up against a formidable Aztecs defense. We favor the Over here.
MASON IS (PROBABLY) FINE
North Texas is expected to have quarterback Mason Fine back in action this weekend against Rice. Fine suffered a head injury in a 52-17 loss to Louisiana Tech on Nov. 9, but had an extra week to heal up and has been trending in the right direction heading into Saturday's meeting with the Owls. Fine is having a terrific season with the Mean Green, completing nearly 63 percent of his passes for 2,659 yards (third-most in Conference USA) with 27 touchdowns, five shy of the career high he set last year. Jason Bean would be in line to start if Fine can't go this weekend.
With North Texas needing to win out to be bowl-eligible and Fine also chasing a personal milestone, the Mean Green are in good position to cover against an Owls team that has lost all five of its home games to date.