Philadelphia, PA – The North Carolina State-Wake Forest series has been a back-and-forth ride with each team winning eight of the last 16 matchups.
However, if folks take time to review those games, they'll see that N.C. State is 7-1 straight-up and 5-3 against-the-spread at home. while Wake Forest is 7-1 SU and 8-0 ATS in Winston-Salem, N.C. Guess where Saturday's game is being played?
The Demon Deacons are back home after getting destroyed last week at Clemson, 56-7. It was their second conference loss of the season, but both games were played away from BB&T Field. Since 1997, they are 11-24 overall on the road, but 25-17 SU at home.
Meanwhile, the Wolfpack, winners of three of four games this year, are coming off a 48-14 romp over Central Michigan. However, that contest and the other three were played in Raleigh, N.C. Going back to 2009, the Wolfpack are 24-7 at home but just 6-14 on the road.
The Wolfpack come to Winston-Salem favored by eight points. It is important to note they have not covered a game as a road favorite since 2002! Over the last 10 years, NC State is an unbelievable 0-12-1 when giving points on the road. The Wolfpack also are 4-19-1 ATS as away favorites going back to 1999.
Last season, N.C. State came into the Wake Forest game all fired up after a 27- point home loss to Virginia. The Wolfpack took out their frustration with a 37-6 thumping of the Demon Deacons. Expect payback this Saturday afternoon.
Take the Demon Deacons plus eight points in this week's lone five-star play.
In another Atlantic Coast Conference battle, Virginia Tech hosts North Carolina. The Hokies have not had a consistent offense this season scoring a grand total of 63 points during regulation play in four FBS games. That equates to a 16 points-per-game average.
After getting past Marshall in triple overtime two weeks ago, the Hokies knocked off previously unbeaten Georgia Tech on the road. Overconfidence could creep in, especially since North Carolina has not played that well this season.
The Tar Heels are 1-3, with their only victory coming against Middle Tennessee at home. Still, they were blown out last week by East Carolina, a team the Tar Heels have owned the last few years. One has to think North Carolina will be a pretty angry squad coming into Blacksburg.
Speaking of Blacksburg, the Tar Heels have played well there of late with one win in their last three tries with the two losses coming by a combined 10 points. All in all, they are 3-0 ATS at Virginia Tech since 2007 and 4-2 ATS overall.
Take North Carolina plus +7.5 points.
The second and final three-star play comes from the American Athletic Conference - a matchup between two former Conference USA foes in UCF and Memphis.
The Knights come into Memphis off a grueling three-point home loss to South Carolina. They actually led 10-0 at halftime and the Gamecocks were without starting quarterback Connor Shaw. But UCF could not hang on and eventually trailed by 18 points with 10 minutes left to play. The offense rallied late, but it was not enough.
UCF has Louisville coming up in its next matchup after Memphis, so one has to wonder how much the club will be up for a road game against a squad they have not lost to since 1990.
The Tigers, once a Conference USA doormat, have had a resurgence under head coach Justin Fuente. After winning just four games between 2009 and 2011, they won four in 2012 alone. This season, they are 1-2, but with a bye last week, the likelihood of a solid performance off their 24-point win over Arkansas State is extremely high.
Take Memphis plus 10 points.
Go with Buffalo -13.5 (Eastern Michigan), Marshall -14 (UTSA), FIU +17 (Southern Miss), West Virginia +28 (Baylor), UTEP pick (Louisiana Tech) and Northwestern +7 (Ohio State).
There are no one-star plays this week.
THIS YEAR'S RECORD
After five weeks, my record stands at 27-36 after a disastrous 2-10 Week 5. The five-star play went 0-1 for a 6-5 overall total, while the three-star selections went 0-2, so that record stands at 4-9. The two-star choices finished 2-6 for a 9-15 mark and the one-star pick went 0-1 for an 8-7 total.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Oregon, 109.5; 2) Alabama, 107; 3) Florida State, 101.5; 4) Louisville, 99; 5-T) Clemson and Stanford, 98.5; 7-T) Georgia and LSU, 98; 9-T) Texas A&M and Oklahoma, 97.5; 11-T) South Carolina, Ohio State and Baylor, 97;
(The Dirty Dozen is not a reflection of a given team's won-loss record. It is based on power ratings used to predict spreads for the upcoming week. At the beginning of the season, all FBS teams are assigned a power number, which changes on a week-to-week basis depending on the results of the previous week.)