North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Florida State Seminoles Free Pick – 10/17/20

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#5 North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0 2-1 ATS) at Florida State Seminoles (1-3 1-3 ATS)

North Carolina looks to keep their playoff hopes alive heading to the Sunshine State to take on a reeling Florida State team. The Tar Heels are a big 13.5-point favorite with the total sitting at 64.

Even on the road, the public has really backed UNC, as they opened as a 9-point favorite, and as of Friday are a 13.5-point favorite.

These teams have not met since the 2016 season.

What is up with Florida State? Ok, so they have played two ranked teams but they were throttled in both of those games and their only win of the season came facing FCS Jacksonville State. The defense has given up an average of 33.5 ppg and that is not good facing a balanced UNC team that is averaging 37 ppg.

The Tar Heels are coming off a 56-45 shootout win over a ranked Virginia Tech team in their last game. Their offense carried them in that game and the team ranks eighth in the nation averaging 245 rushing yards per game.

UNC has its eye on the college football playoff, but they cannot overlook FSU. They do not face a team that is currently ranked until near the end of the season when they are at home facing fourth-ranked Notre Dame and then hit the road to face 13th ranked Miami.

While UNC is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against FSU and 4-0 ATS in their lasdt four road games facing them the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four games between these ACC rivals.

Racking It Up

In the 56-46 shootout win over Virginia Tech, the Heels racked up 656 yards with 399 of those yards coming on the ground. The D did not have the best of games giving up 495 yards and they gave up 260 rushing yards.

Sam Howell passed for 257 yards with three TD in the win over Tech and he has a solid WR corps.

The big task for the Seminoles will be trying to contain one of the best RB duos in the nation in Javonte Carter (494 yards) and Michael Williams (416 yards). Carter rushed for 214 yards with two TD and averaged 12.6 yards per carry in the Tech game and Williams rushed for 169 yards with two TD and averaged 8.5 yards per carry.

Williams and Carter will be facing an FSU run defense that was lit up in their last game giving up 353 rushing yards.

Can’t Get Much Worse

FSU has had a terrible season so far and on top of that, they have a QB issue. James Blackman started the season under center but struggled and replaced by Jordan Travis who played pretty well. However, he was injured in the last game, which was a 42-26 loss to Notre Dame, and listed as probable for this game.

While FSU lost badly to Notre Dame they did have a 17-14 lead before the floodgates opened up giving up three TD in the second quarter and they did hold the Fighting Irish to only seven points in the second half.

The Seminoles will have to run the ball well to beat the Heels but Travis is the leading rusher and is banged up. Lawrance Toafili has 164 rushing yards this season but only rushed for one yard on three attempts in the loss to Notre Dame. Travis had 96 rushing yards in that game and La’Damian Webb rushed for 59 yards.

Prediction:

UNC is 4-0 ATS in their last four games facing a team with a losing record while FSU is only 1-4 ATS in their last five games facing a team with a winning record.

Score Prediction – NC 37 FSU 20