Florida State Seminoles (3-0 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date and Time: Saturday, September 27, 3:30pm EST
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium – Raleigh, NC
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -19/NCST +19
Over/Under Total: 59
This Saturday at 3:30pm, we will see an ACC match-up of two unbeatens when the Florida State Seminoles invade Raleigh, North Carolina to take on the 4-0 North Carolina State Wolfpack. This will be the first ACC game for the Wolfpack, while FSU already sits at 1-0 in the conference after an overtime win against Clemson just this past weekend. Florida State, who is still ranked number one in the nation and is the defending national champ opens up as a 19 point road favorite with the total points being set at 59. This seems to be a huge point spread seeing as how both teams are unbeaten, and the underdog is at home, but what we have learned from college football over the years is that you do not see a teams true colors until conference play begins. Depending how North Carolina State responds in this game will determine whether or not that 4-0 record is legit. 19 points is a lot but lets take a look at these two programs and see which play is the right move for this weekend.
The Florida State Seminoles got a huge scare this past Saturday night. The Clemson Tigers had the ball with under two minutes to play in regulation in a tied game. It was all but over… run the ball to the middle a couple of times, kick the field goal, knock off the defending national champs. NOPE. A Clemson fumble allowed FSU to take the game into overtime and win on a Karlos Williams 12 yard touchdown run. Yes, Clemson played the Seminoles tough, but lets be real: There was no Jameis Winston. Now Winston is back and I think the entire Seminole nation sees that without him, they are not much of a contender any longer. With the schedule the way it looks, I can see Florida State running the table, but this year’s team is nothing like last season’s squad. Last year, the Seminole’s defense was lights out, ranked among the nation’s best in pretty much every category. This year, not so much… The FSU defense is 30th in the nation in scoring, but going into the Clemson game, they had one of the worst 3rd down defenses in the country. This must improve if the Seminoles have any desire to win another ACC title, much less a national championship. The offense is as good as always when Winston is leading the way. Through two games, Jameis Winston has thrown for 626 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is also a threat to run the ball when the pocket breaks down. One not so good note however is the Seminoles overall run game. It is bad. Ranked 111th in the nation, they are only gathering a little over 109 yards a game on the ground. In the future, this must also improve in order to have success on a national scale. The key to this game for Florida State is to get that running game going. Get a balanced rushing and passing attack, and I believe the athleticism of this FSU team could lead to major problems for the Wolfpack defense.
North Carolina State enters this game at 4-0 but that is stacked with wins over lesser opponents like South Florida, Old Dominion, and Presbyterian. They did have a slight scare against Georgia Southern, but lets not forget that Southern is a team that went into the Swamp last year and stunned the Florida Gators, and just a few weeks ago was a play away from upsetting the undefeated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. Other than that 24-23 scare, NC State has been able to handle business with big wins. Statistically speaking, NC State has done a good job on both sides of the ball this season. They rank 25th in the nation in rushing, 32nd in scoring, and 23rd in scoring defense. Of course, due to the competition, or lack of, these stats can be a bit skewd. One major bright spot for the Wolfpack however is the play so far of quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Through four games, Brissett has already passed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdown passes. If his play stays consistent, they could cause trouble for a number of teams, including Florida State. The key to this contest for North Carolina State is very simple…start fast!! If NC State can come out of the gate in front of the home crowd and show they will not be pushed around, then I can see this game being tight til the end.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Florida State comes in as a 19 point road favorite. This is a big spread, but just like last season we saw FSU play an undefeated Maryland team and the game ended up being a complete massacre. Many people feel this one can end the same way. I am not so sure. This Florida State team is good, but I would not classify them as “great,” at least not just yet. They have some areas to work on if they are truly going to make a repeat run for a title. A of now, it appears the general betting public is about split on this game too. 54% of the action is on FSU with 46% on North Carolina State. I do not like laying big points, especially when the road team is favored. I am almost certain FSU wins this game, but I will take the points however. I like FSU to win this game 34-23 giving us just enough room to cover that big spread. PICK NC STATE +19!!!