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Clemson

vs.

Florida State

ACC Football Pick

9/22/12

Florida State hosts Clemson in an ACC primetime matchup that can be seen on ABC-TV at 8 pm est. Florida State opened at -13 at 5 Dimes and has been bet up to -14.5 with some of the action being syndicate action. Do they really like Florida State or are they setting the game up to bet the other way later in the week? Who knows. But we do know, according to the betting trends at sportsbook.ag, that the betting action isn't as lopsided as we'd expect, with about 56% of the action coming in on the Seminoles.

The Florida State defense has been really, really, really good. Through three games they have given up three points and scored 176 points which stands at No. 1 and No. 2 in the country, respectively. Granted, their opponents haven't been out of this world, but they did just destroy Wake Forest 52-0. Sure, the Demon Deacons aren't a top team by any means but they did beat North Carolina the week before. Clemson is a different animal, yet the Seminoles are still close to 14-point favorites against the No. 10 team in the AP Polls.

Clemson's best win was against Auburn 26-19, which doesn't look that great at the moment as the Tigers only win is in OT against Louisiana-Monroe. No matter, Florida State hasn't played anyone like Taj Boyd or Andre Ellington yet, that's for sure. Last season, Clemson scored 35 points against the Seminoles. Can they be that much improved? Maybe, as FSU has the bigger advantage in the numbers as the home team is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings, not to mention the home team has also won nine of the past 10 games between the two.

Most of the Tigers offense has returned from last season's win when Boyd threw for 344 yards and three TDs. DeAndre Hopkins has been a beast for him this season with 26 catches, 319 yards and four TDs, but last year's leading WR, Sammy Watkins, returned against Furman last week and will be a nice welcome in this game. Boyd's numbers are impressive to date with 747 yards, six TDs and a 73.3% completion rate. Ellington has taken a backseat to Boyd in the headlines, but he has still churned out 328 yards and four TDs this season. If Florida State can keep the Tigers under 10 points, they should be the No. 1 team in the country. But again, that's asking a lot.

The Seminoles defense is tops, but how good can their offense be? Clemson's defense isn't great as they allowed 70 points in the Orange Bowl last year to West Virginia. Their running game has produced 15 TDs already along with 837 yards. That is amazing. Chris Thompson and James Wilder Jr. lead the way with seven of those TDs and a combined 474 rushing yards. At quarterback, EJ Manuel hasn't really had much to do. Sooner or later, he will be called upon. He has 525 yards and six TDs so far. That's not a lot when your team is scoring almost 60 points per game.

The under has hit an incredible 10-1 in Clemson's last 11 road games, so either their offense will be shut out or they'll hold FSU under 50. In addition, the under has hit six times in Florida State's last seven games overall. While the home team has the ATS advantage, Clemson is still 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between them. Expect a great game out of these two Top 10 teams with BCS hopes.

You have to toss FSU's first two games. Murray State and Savannah State, those are nothing more than scrimmages. We'll credit the Seminoles for their destruction of Wake Forest last week. Clemson was also able to pad their early record with wins over Ball State and Furman. They also knocked of Auburn, week1. Florida State opened last season with wins over ULM and Charleston Southern, 34-0 and 62-10. They then lost their next 3 games, to legitimate opponents. In 2010 they blew out Samford week 1, before getting clobbered by Oklahoma in week 2, 47-17. In 2008 they blew out Western Carolina 69-0 and Chattanooga, 46-7, before losing in week 3 to the first legitimate opponent they faced, Wake Forest.

These are essentially the same teams that met a year ago. Clemson won that game, 35-30. In 2010, Florida State won 16-13. Now, Florida State is favored by two touchdowns. Ok, we'll bite. This is a game between the #10 team in the nation and the #4 team in the nation. Plenty at stake here as a win by Florida State would secure their spot and perhaps move them up while a Clemson win would vault them into the top 5. We can't pass up the bundle of points in a big spot like this. Clemson +14.5

 

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