Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. Florida State Seminoles (6-0 SU, 1-5 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Saturday, October 18, 8:00pm EST
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ND +11.5/FSU -11.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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Saturday night at 8:00pm will be the biggest college football game of the week, and one of the most important so far this season. The nation’s second ranked Florida State Seminoles will play host to the fifth ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This game will have huge final four implications. If you ask me, the loser of this game may be left out, while the winner goes on to run the table the rest of the way. These two proud programs have faced off seven times in their history, with the Seminoles taking five of the victories. This should be another one for the ages.
Thre are rumblings that FSU quarterback, Jameis Winston, could possibly be suspended by game time. Many of the Vegas books took this game off the board for a couple of days, but as of now, after listening to coach Jimbo Fisher, it sounds as if Winston will play. At this moment, the line is set with Florida State being favored by 11.5 points over the Irish. Many of the publications that I read are saying that this is a big line and they do not see the game being decided by more than 4-6 points. Notre Dame has been the better team against the spread this season going 4-2, while the Seminoles have only covered the spread once. My advice to you…do not look too much into that statistic. This is a new week, a new game, and this one has major implications.
Florida State was dropped to number two in the polls for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but being 6-0, and the defending national champion, they still control their own destiny. That ranking means nothing. Like I said earlier, the Noles have not done a good job covering spreads this season, but much of that is due to the amount of love they are getting from gamblers based off last season. The Seminoles are still a very solid team, but they lost many pieces of last year’s team to the NFL. Up to this point in the 2014 season, the Seminoles have yet to play a top 10 team, and this will be their first major test. One thing I can say about this team is that Jameis Winston does a good job of not letting the off field issues rattle him. I guess he has been through enough and is pretty much immune to it. The key to this game for Florida State is to come out of the gates fast. In a few of the Seminoles games this year, they have got behind and had to battle back late. Notre Dame is not a team you want to fall behind to. Jump out early, get the fans chopping, and put the Irish away.
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Notre Dame has been somewhat of a surprise this season. With the return of quarterback, Everett Golson, we all knew the Irish would be much improved from last season but no one expected them to be 6-0 headed into the FSU game. The last two wins for the Irish were not easy. They had to score on a late miracle to beat Stanford 17-14, then just this past weekend, they found themselves in a shootout with North Carolina with Notre Dame finally coming away with the 50-43 win. Golson is averaging over 280 yards passing a game and has already thrown 16 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in 2014. The Irish’s success is based on the arm of Golson. If he can come out and make plays and keep this game close I could see it going either way and Notre Dame not only covering the 11.5 spread, but winning the game outright.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is going to be one great game in my opinion. Florida State has not lost in who knows how long, while Notre Dame wants to prove that they truly are one of the top teams in the nation. Based on both teams remaining schedules, it looks like the winner of this game could go 12-0 while the loser would have to pray for some help to make it to the college football playoffs. 11.5 points is a lot in these type of games but that makes me wonder if the bookmakers know something we do not. Last night, almost 70% of the action was on the Notre Dame side and that is all I needed to see. A spread that seems too large, 70% of bettors falling for it and taking the underdog…yea right. Florida State is going to blow this game out. Well, maybe not blow out, but they cover this thing. I think the Seminoles come out fired up and put up big numbers. Look for the Seminoles to beat the Irish 30-17. PICK FLORIDA STATE -11.5