The Furman Paladins take on the NC State Wolfpack. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Furman NC State prediction and pick.

The North Carolina State Wolfpack led the Miami Hurricanes for a large portion of this past Saturday’s ACC game in South Florida. N.C. State led 55-43 with 13:45 left. The Wolfpack scored just five points in a span of nearly five minutes and watched Miami cut into the 12-point bulge. However, State still led 67-62 with 7:18 remaining. The Wolfpack still had the advantage. Then their offense completely lost the plot. They scored just six points in the final seven minutes. They went nearly 4:45 without scoring a single point. Miami rallied to beat the Wolfpack, 80-73. North Carolina State missed a golden chance to even its ACC record at 1-1. North Carolina State lost at home to Pittsburgh, a dreadful defeat which put coach Kevin Keatts’ team behind schedule. Getting a win at Miami would have neatly compensated for the face-plant against Pitt, but the late offensive collapse dashed those hopes. Keatts has struggled to get the most out of his North Carolina State rosters. Fans in Raleigh are rightly and unavoidably restless, waiting for better results to emerge. It just hasn’t happened.

This game against Furman is not a chance for North Carolina State to build its resume. This is a game in which the Wolfpack have to avoid further damage to their resume. We get into this conversation a lot in college basketball: Some games are opportunities, while other games are burdens and moments of pressure. This is a game in which North Carolina State is under pressure to avoid a third loss in the month of December and avoid sinking so low that its NCAA Tournament hopes will be dashed well before the end of the regular season.

North Carolina State’s loss to Pitt is a big stain on its portfolio, but the good news is that Miami and also Kansas (the other team State lost to) are almost certain to be NCAA Tournament teams. Pitt, though, will not make the Big Dance, and Furman — which already has three losses this season — is unlikely to be part of March Madness. North Carolina State simply can’t afford to lose this game. It really is a must-win for Keatts.

Furman lost to High Point several days ago, but it bounced back over the weekend and defeated Winthrop, 82-67. Jalen Slawson scored 25 points to lead the Paladins, who are 7-3 on the season but have a lot to prove. It is notable that Furman has played 10 games so far this season, but only one of them being a true road game (a win at Appalachian State). We need to see more from Furman away from home against decent competition. This game against North Carolina State figures to be a true revealer of what the Paladins actually are as a team.

Here are the Furman-NC State NCAA Basketball Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Basketball Odds: Furman-NC State Odds

Furman Paladins: +6.5 (-110)

NC State Wolfpack: -6.5 (-110)

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Over: 154.5 (-114)

Under: 154.5 (-106)

Why Furman Could Cover the Spread

The North Carolina State Wolfpack are an unreliable team, and more than that, the Pack often play to the level of their competition. This is the kind of game North Carolina State often loses.

Why NC State Could Cover the Spread

The Furman Paladins are not a proven team, at least not away from home. They haven’t been tested much in road games, and State can take advantage of that fact.

Final Furman-NC State Prediction & Pick

Furman’s lack of strong road-game tests in the early portion of the season will help NC State cover the spread.

Final Furman-NC State Prediction & Pick: NC State -6.5