The #14 ranked NC State Wolfpack travel to Indiana this weekend to take on the #9 ranked Fighting Irish in one of the premier match-ups here in Week 9 of the NCAA Football season. Kickoff will be at 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, October 28th at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.

Notre Dame enters this game as 7.5 point home favorites. Early betting has changed the line slightly, as the Fighting Irish opened at -8. The over/under for the game is 57.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 9 betting odds and links to game previews.

NC State vs Notre Dame Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview

The Wolfpack have now won six consecutive games after losing to South Carolina way back in Week 1. They improved to 6-1 on the season after beating the Pitt Panthers 35-17 on the road several weeks ago. NC State is led on offense by the running back tandem of Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels, who combined for 197 yards rushing and three touchdowns against the Gamecocks. QB Ryan Finley has also been a big contributor, throwing for just under 2,000 yards while adding eleven touchdowns. He has also yet to throw an interception this season. Overall, the Wolfpack rank inside the top 50 offensive teams in the nation with an average of 35.4 points per game. On the other side of the ball, NC State has looked fairly average. The Wolfpack are currently 54th overall in terms of total defense, allowing opponents to average 378.3 yards per game.

Notre Dame is coming off a huge home win over rival USC last weekend. They embarrassed the Trojans by a score of 49-14 in a game that was never really close after the opening quarter. The Fighting Irish gained 500 total yards while absolutely dominating USC on the ground pretty much all game. They averaged an impressive 8.3 yards per rushing attempt and the combination of Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush scored a total of five touchdowns on the ground. Notre Dame is currently averaging 41.3 points per game, which is 11th overall. The Fighting Irish have always looked very strong defensively, as they have limited opponents to an average of just 16.4 points per game (12th overall).

Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: NC State +7.5

This should be one of the most entertaining games on the weekend considering it involves two of the top ranked teams in the entire country. Both NC State and Notre Dame are 6-1 and feature explosive offenses that have no problems putting points on the scoreboard. I’m definitely expecting a lot of fireworks in this one and would be surprised if it doesn’t stay close all game. I’m a little bit wary of a potential letdown from Notre Dame after such a statement victory over USC last weekend. I think there is definitely some value to be found by taking the 7.5 points and hoping for NC State to keep it close on the road.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

The Wolfpack are coming off a bye and should be well-rested for this game. The extra week of planning and preparation certainly shouldn’t hurt either. NC State is 5-0 ATS over their past five road games and 4-0 ATS in their past four games against non-conference opponents. They have also proved they can compete with the best teams in the country multiple times already this season, beating several tough opponents on the road.

Ultimately, I do think that Notre Dame will find a way to win this game at home and improve to 7-1 on the year. However, I expect it to stay close all the way to the end of the 4th quarter. Giving up a touchdown plus in this particular spot is too much for me, especially considering the Fighting Irish may get off to a slow start Saturday afternoon after an emotional victory last weekend. I’m taking NC State and the points.