Notre Dame is still undefeated and this is likely the easiest of its remaining Games, which means it can’t slip up. Florida State is far from undefeated and could be set to miss a bowl Game in Willie Taggart’s first season in charge with three ranked opponents still on the Schedule. The betting line has the Fighting Irish favored by -18 at home with an over/under total of 55 as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
These teams last played in 2014 so there’s little to takeaway from previous meetings. It’s been completely different seasons for these teams as Notre Dame hasn’t looked back since beating Michigan in the opener, while Florida State is 4-5 and its two ACC wins are against teams with a combined 1-10 Conference record. At one point, the Seminoles were at least putting up a fight and could’ve won Four straight if they took down Miami, but since the Clemson loss, it’s been ugly. Most recently, the ‘Noles fell 47-28 to a solid, but not great NC State team.
Read this before betting on the Miss St at Alabama Game!
Heading into this matchup, Taggart gave up playcalling duties, but it’s hard to see that making a major difference since the defense is still a problem allowing 30.4 points and close to 400 yards per Game. They just gave up 47 points to a team that isn’t known for its offense, which is an issue heading into this one.
Quarterback Ian Book has slowed down somewhat since being named starter, but he’s still doing enough to get wins for the Irish. He has multiple touchdowns in every start to go with a 74.5% completion rate and 8.94 yards per attempt. Those numbers should be enough against this defense and while the running Game hasn’t been great, FSU hasn’t stopped many teams. Either way, running back Dexter Williams is averaging 6.1 yards per carry and that’s enough to complement Book, who is extremely efficient. That said, this still isn’t an easy bet since Notre Dame isn’t exactly beating teams by more than 20 points with regularity. Only a few weeks ago they had trouble putting away a Pittsburgh team that isn’t much different than Florida State.
The problem is that the Seminoles have numerous issues on the offensive end from a new playcaller to a question at quarterback. James Blackman started for Deondre Francois last Game and while his numbers were fine (421 yards, 4 TDs), he didn’t do enough because they still lost by 19 points. Blackman could put up decent numbers again, but the running Game isn’t working for this offense and that forces the defense into playing a lot and in turn allowing too many points. FSU is averaging 2.4 yards per carry as a team (sacks included) with Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick at 4.1 ypc or less. Those numbers aren’t going to cut it against many FBS opponents and that’s part of the reason Taggart is no longer calling plays.
The Seminoles are 2-8-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 2-5-2 ATS in their last nine road Games. The Fighting Irish are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six overall, but 2-5 ATS in their last seven at home. These teams don’t play each other often so there are no relevant trends between them.
Notre Dame is barely profitable against the betting line this year with an ATS record of 4-3-2. Now, of course, shopping for the best line could turn those 2 pushed into wins. Florida State on the other hand, is just 3-6 against the betting line this year.
Our Pick – Notre Dame -17 or better (otherwise pass)