Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Deamon Deacons Preview and Pick

Florida State Seminoles (4-1) -5 , o/u 43 at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-2), 7:30 pm Eastern Thursday, ESPN
by Zman of Predictem.com

On their way to their unlikely ACC championship last season, the surprising Wake Forest Demon Deacons dealt the Florida State Seminoles one of their worst defeats in 30 years under head coach Bobby Bowden. Thursday night FSU would love to hand out a little tit-for-tat when the two teams hook up for an ACC Atlantic Division clash in Winston-Salem.

Florida State has won four games in a row after dropping its season opener at Clemson. Last week, the Seminoles beat the North Carolina State Wolfpack 27-10, but couldn’t cover the spread as 18-point home favorites.

Wake Forest lost its first two games of this season at Boston College and to Nebraska, but since then has beaten Army, Maryland and, last week, Duke. The Deacons spotted the Blue Devils a 9-0 lead, then scored 34 unanswered points on their way to a 41-36 victory. But Wake couldn’t cover the spread either as eight-point home chalk.

FSU, at 1-1, and the Deacs at 2-1 are both chasing 3-0 Boston College in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.

Last year, in Tallahassee, Wake Forest put a 30-0 thumping on the ‘Noles, winning outright as 10-point road dogs. The Deacons outgained Florida State 307-139, outrushed them 169-26 and held a 36-24 time-of-possession advantage.

This season the Seminoles are 2-3 against the spread, and 1-1 both straight up and ATS on the road.

Meanwhile, Wake is also 2-3 vs. the number this year, but 2-1 both SU and ATS at home.

After three uninspiring games this season, FSU has made a switch at QB, inserting junior Xavier Lee for Drew Weatherford. And the Seminoles have won those last two games over Alabama and N.C. State. Lee, who’s now started five games in his collegiate career with Florida State, has completed 60% of his passes this season and owns a 3/1 TD/INT ratio and a 10 yards-per-attempt average.

Deacons sophomore QB Riley Skinner, who’s already started 16 games in his collegiate career, has hit on 71% of his throws this season but owns just a 2/7 TD/INT ratio.

FSU is outscoring opponents this season 23-16, outgaining foes 345-303 and outrushing them 121-82.

Wake is outscoring opponents 28-26 and outrushing them 139-111, but is getting outgained overall 358-338.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings ranks the Seminoles 31st at 78.9, the Demon Deacons 51st at 73.9.

The o/u is 1-4 in Florida State games this year, which are averaging 39 points per, while the totals are 3-2 in Wake games, which are averaging 53 points per.

The Seminoles opened as six-point road chalk at most sportsbooks for Thursday night’s game, with a total of 44. The line has dropped a half-point in early betting, as has the over/under. Also, FSU is listed at around -220 on the moneyline, with the Deacons getting +180.

The Zman Pick: I like FSU minus the points.