This season has almost been too boring for Clemson, which is still undefeated and looks set to remain that way going into the College Football Playoff. Florida State may be better than it looked the first few weeks of the season, but it’s still a team that’s behind Clemson on a talent level. The Tigers opened as -16 point road favorites with an over/under of 51 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This matchup disappointed last year and it has the makings to disappoint again unless the Seminoles can figure some things out. They’ve gotten a couple wins in ACC play, but beating Louisville and Wake is not the same as facing Clemson. The same goes for the Miami Game that FSU should’ve won. Clemson took its foot off the gas against Syracuse and hasn’t looked back since, winning the last two Games by a combined 104-10 Scoreline against Wake and NC State. If the Tigers have that mentality in this one, it could mean trouble for the home team.
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois is playing better than he was earlier in the season and has multiple touchdowns in each of the last Four Games, yet he still hasn’t produced against a good defense. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 129 yards in the loss against Miami, and Clemson’s defense is as good as it gets, allowing 266 total yards and 13.4 points per Game. The Seminoles will try and get running back Cam Akers going, but they’re averaging 2.9 yards per carry as a team (sacks included) and managed just 21 rushing yards on 24 carries in last year’s matchup. Clemson’s defense has most of the same players from that meeting and it could be more trouble for the FSU offense. If the Seminoles can’t Score20 points, that should mean a Clemson cover because of how well the offense is playing.
The Tigers just dropped 41 points on a good NC State defense and while FSU is allowing 24 points per Game, it’s still giving up 271 passing yards per contest and hasn’t faced a team like Clemson yet. The Tigers are doing whatever they want offensively and even though Travis Etienne managed 39 yards against NC State, quarterback Trevor LAwrence picked up the slack and threw for 308 yards. So even if FSU can stop Etienne, who is averaging 8.0 yards per carry on the season, LAwrence showed he could carve up beatable defenses last week. Any way you look at it, the Tigers should be good for 30 points at a minimum and probably more if LAwrence plays like he did against the Wolfpack. This Game also comes at noon, which takes away added home-field advantage compared to if it was played at night.
The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six Conference Games, while the Seminoles are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home Games and 2-9-2 ATS in their last 13 in the ACC. The home team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings between these schools and the over is 7-2 in the last nine meetings between them played at Florida State.
Our Pick – Florida State +17