College Football Pick
Florida State is out of the title conversation on a national level and in the ACC. That said, the Seminoles still came back and picked up a nice win as a road underdog at Miami (FL) last weekend. And with a home Game against Clemson looming, there’s still a long way to go in the Atlantic division. The Seminoles host a surprising 5-1 Wake Forest team, but opened as a large -22.5 point home favorite in this one as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
But immediately, one thing to not overlook is that Wake Forest competed in this matchup a year ago. The Demon Deacons were arguably much worse last season, finishing 3-9 and just 1-7 in ACC play, but they still managed to keep this Game close. Of course, Dalvin Cook had to leave the Game early due to injury after he ran for a 94-yard touchdown on the first drive. His backup was arguably much worse as Florida State decided to pass the ball a little too much with Everett Golson in the 24-16 win.
But with Cook healthy and coming off three straight Games of at least 27 carries and 140 rushing yards, Florida State’s offensive Game plan is obvious. Cook was questionable to play in the last Game, but he looked plenty fine with 209 total yards. Wake has been winning through great defensive play in the early going, and will need to limit Cook to have a shot of covering this one.
In Wake’s lone loss at NC State, they gave up 125 rushing yards to Matthew Dayes and 200 to the Wolfpack as a team. If that same defense shows up, Cook could easily be on his way to 200-plus total yards again. It’s obvious the Seminoles want to get him the ball and so far no one has stopped him. With that strategy in mind, it limits freshman quarterback Deondre Francois from having to do too much. Francois has played well, but the ‘Noles want to win through Cook.
The other side is the bigger question if the Demon Deacons want to cover because offense is this team’s weak spot. Florida State is still beat up on the back end and Wake needs to take advantage of that like previous opponents.
But the reason this spread is so much is because Wake quarterback John Wolford isn’t the type of guy to exploit a weak defense. After attempting only 22 passes in the first two Games, Wolford has opened things up a little more, but still has just three passing touchdowns on the year. Even in a 28-9 win over Syracuse last week, Wolford was just 13-of-22 for 140 yards and an interception. Most of his threat is through his legs and that’s where Wake will try and keep this Game close.
And if that running Game isn’t there for Wake Forest, then it’s going to be a similar situation to how things played out for Miami last weekend. The Hurricanes couldn’t run the ball, just 62 yards on 28 carries and they scored 19 points. If Wake can’t run, they may have trouble reaching 10 points.
The Seminoles may not have as much to play for anymore, but with the desire to win still shown at Miami, it’s evident this team hasn’t given up.
Our Pick – We can’t discount the fact that Wake Forest has the 13th ranked defense in the land with a yards per point number of 20.4. Florida States defense using the same criteria, ranks 101st with a number of 12.5.
Granted, Florida State has played a significantly more difficult Schedule than Wake, however, that may work against them here. After last weeks highly emotional win over Miami, this is a perfect spot for a letdown. A slight letdown against a 5-1 Wake Forest team that knows how to win should at the very least lead to the Demon Deacons covering this huge spot. Wake Forest +22.5