College Football Picks: Florida State at North Carolina State Betting Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/28/2010
If this matchup seems rather familiar for a Thursday night in an even-numbered year, well, it should. This marks the fourth straight Thursday night meeting between the schools in Raleigh. FSU won 17-10 in 2004 and 26-17 in 2008, but lost 24-20 in 2006. For some reason FSU is always on the road in Thursday nighters. This is their ninth road game in 11 Thursday night games since 1983. Overall FSU is 7-4 in the 11.
In my opinion, the winner of this game will represent the ACC Atlantic Division in the conference championship game. Right now 16th-ranked FSU is completely in control of its destiny at 4-0 in the ACC, while NC State is tied with an overrated Maryland at 2-1 in second place. Both FSU and NC State do travel to Maryland at the end of the season – that’s the Noles’ final road game after this one. The first tiebreaker if there’s a two-way tie for the division lead is head-to-head.
Both FSU and NC State were off this past Saturday. The Noles enter having won five in a row for the first time since 2005, but were somewhat lucky to beat Boston College on Oct. 16 as FSU turned the ball over four times – including three picks by Christian Ponder – in the 24-19 win.
The Wolfpack went out of conference on the 16th and lost, 33-27, in overtime at East Carolina. For comparison’s sake, NC State crushed Boston College 44-17 at home the week prior to that.
Since the Noles joined the ACC, NC State is tied for the most conference wins against FSU.
College Football Picks: Team breakdowns
It will be interesting to see which stellar QB shows up on Thursday. Ponder had thrown six TDs and just one pick in his previous four games before BC. Meanwhile, NC State’s Russell Wilson, who set the national record for consecutive throws without a pick, had three interceptions of his own in that loss to ECU and has now tossed eight in the past three games. That’s more than 35 percent of his career total.
Wilson leads the ACC in passing and total offense and the Wolfpack are second in the conference in scoring (36.0 points per game), while FSU has the ACC’s top scoring defense at 16.1 points per game.
Look for third-down conversions to be the deciding factor. FSU is converting at a league-best 49.4 percentage rate. NC State leads the ACC and ranks sixth nationally in third-down conversion defense, allowing opponents to convert just 28.7 percent. The Wolfpack have forced the opposition into 30 three-and-outs this season, an average of 4.29 per game. That’s No. 7 in the nation.
Florida State at North Carolina State betting odds
FSU is a 3.5-point favorite with the total at 58. The Noles are getting about a 60 percent lean on the side. The line opened at 3.0 and moved to 4.0 nearly everywhere before coming back down a half-point. The total has risen about 1.5 points. FSU is 5-2 ATS and 2-1 on the road. NCSU is also 5-2 ATS and 3-1 at home.
Florida State at North Carolina State betting trends
FSU has covered just twice in its past 12 road games as a 3.5-10-point favorite
NC State has won six of its past eight as a home dog
The ‘over’ is 13-3 in NC State’s past 16 ACC games
FSU is a fairly incredible 0-8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings
Florida State at North Carolina State Betting Predictions and College Football Picks
Well, this game should be close as only one of the past eight meetings has been decided by more than 10 points: Florida State's 27-10 win in 2007. Interestingly, FSU has that pretty good record on Thursday nights but is only 4-4 on the night when ranked. And in the past five meetings against the Wolfpack when FSU was ranked, the Noles lost three of them.
I think this is a shootout just like last year’s 45-42 FSU win. But the Wolfpack win it straight up. So it’s NC State and the ‘over’.
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