Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. No. 14 Florida State Seminoles (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday October 15th, 2016. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WF +22.5/FSU -22.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
The Florida State Seminoles avoided their 2nd straight loss last week with a narrow 20-19 victory over no. 10 Miami. The Hurricanes, previously undefeated, actually scored a touchdown to tie the game with less than 2 minutes to go. However, Florida States DeMarcus Walker blocked the extra point attempt to seal the much needed victory for the Seminoles. The win was a much needed boost for Jimbo Fishers Seminoles that had dropped 2 of their last 3 games and the win over an undefeated top 10 opponent helped Florida State climb the 9 spots in the Top 25 rankings. Florida State looks to build off that win when they return home this Saturday to play the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
A lot of people feel like the Seminoles have taken a step back this year which is evident by their struggles in recent weeks. However, Coach Jimbo Fisher was quick to point out the overall improvement in the ACC this year claiming the unprecedented parity that the conference is experiencing for the first time in decades from their top teams. If you look at the standings, the ACC currently has six teams with just 1 loss or less while Clemson remains the only undefeated team standing. This week the Seminoles will get one of those one loss teams when the visiting Wake Forest Demon Deacons roll into town fresh off a 28-9 victory over Syracuse.
Despite the parity in the ACC, Florida State has undoubtedly struggled on defense more than usual this year. The Seminoles were TKOd by Louisvilles offense to the tune of 63 points and gave up 37 points in the loss to North Carolina. While Wake Forest may not have the speed as either Louisville or North Carolina to exploit their weaknesses, the Demon Deacons do play very solid defense and have enough weapons to challenge in a low scoring game. Defensively, Wake Forest has held opponents to just 367 yards per game which ranks 42nd in the FBS. I will be the first to point out that the opponents Wake Forest has faced thus far in the year have been pretty tame in terms of offensive performance. Still, Wake Forest is solid against the run which is how Florida State typically attacks. The Demon Deacons have allowed just 118 yards per game on the ground and if they can contain Dalvin Cook then they could possibly make this contest competitive especially if Deondre Francois is unable to play.
Francois suffered a shoulder injury in the win over Miami last week as his stats is probable for this weekends game. Francois actually returned during the game so I would be surprised if his injury status is nothing more than precautions. For Florida States sake, they need Francois because Sean Maguire looked pretty bad in backup duties last week. Maguire only threw two passes but one was an interception and he also had a rush for negative 10 yards. He looked completely rattled which was something not typically seen with the calm freshman behind center. Therefore, be sure to monitor the injury status closely throughout the week because if Maguire has to start then it completely changes the complexion of this game.
Despite who will be playing quarterback, Wake Forest is still going to have to find an answer for Dalvin Cook. After a semi slow start, Cook has exploded in recent weeks to gain 557 yards and 5 touchdowns in just the last 3 games. Cook sliced through a tough Miami run defense last week to rack up 150 yards on 27 carries. The junior had 1,691 yards as a sophomore last year and his pace has picked up in recent weeks that could put that number in jeopardy. As stated before, the Demon Deacons have been solid against the run but they have yet to face a tailback as talented as Cook. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Wake Forest can contain the star junior tailback.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this spread is a bit much for a team that has struggled on defense. Wake Forest does not have any outstanding offensive weapons but they are solid across the board. If Cook does not break open a few big plays, this one could stay relatively close. Take Wake Forest +22
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