Thursday college basketball odds: No. 6 NC State vs. Penn State

Many people believe that NC State is the team to beat in the ACC this season and the sixth-ranked Wolfpack should get their first semi-test of the season on Thursday in Puerto Rico when they host Penn State. NCSU is a 12-point favorite on WagerWeb.com.

Penn State (1-0) opened with a 65-58 win over St. Francis (Pa.). Tim Frazier scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and D.J. Newbill, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, added 16 points for the Nittany Lions. Down 26-20 at the break, St. Francis opened the second half on an 11-4 run. Penn State took the lead for good when Frazier hit a pair of free throws with 10:45 remaining.

NC State (1-0) opened with a 97-59 win over Miami of Ohio. Richard Howell had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Lorenzo Brown added 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists for N.C. State, which scored the game’s first 10 points and led by 19 at halftime en route to an easy win. The Wolfpack had six players in double figures and even flirted with the program’s first 100-point output in eight years. N.C. State shot 61 percent.

NC State juniors C.J. Leslie and Brown are among the collegiate players named to the Naismith Early Season Watch List. Leslie scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds with three assists and three blocks against the RedHawks. Both players were preseason All-ACC first-team selections.

As for this game, it’s the first time since the 1998-99 season, the NC State men’s basketball team will play regular-season games outside the continental United States for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Ironically, the last time the Wolfpack played a game outside the contiguous United States it was the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. NC State went 2-1 on the trip, winning its opening game over Middle Tennessee State, 91-59, before falling in the semifinals to Ohio State, 81-64. The Pack rebounded to defeat Oklahoma, 62-58, in the third-place contest.

This is the first meeting between the Wolfpack and Nittany Lions since 2000-01, when NC State posted an 84-76 home victory over PSU in second installment of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

NC State has a winning record versus five of the other seven teams in the Tip-Off field: Akron 3-0, UNC Asheville 17-0, Tennessee 5-3, Providence 4-1 and Penn State 15-3. The Pack is 0-3 all-time against Massachusetts and 0-1 in its only meeting with Oklahoma State.

The Pack will be seeking its first in-season tournament title since winning the 2009 Glenn Wilkes Classic championship. NC State defeated Akron, Austin-Peay and Auburn to capture the Wilkes crown.

WagerWeb.com trends: Wolfpack are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games following a S.U. win. Wolfpack are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Wolfpack are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. Wolfpack are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Wolfpack are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. Nittany Lions are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Nittany Lions are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall. Nittany Lions are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.

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