Free College Football Picks: Florida State at Clemson Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 10/17/2013
A lot of people are calling this the biggest game in ACC history. While that may be going a bit far, there is little doubt that when the Seminoles and the Tigers clash it will be the biggest game in the conference since 2005 when No. 5 Miami beat No. 3 Virginia Tech. Both teams faltered down the stretch after that game, so these two squads will have to be careful to avoid the same fate regardless of how this game turns out. This also isn’t the biggest game of this season overall, though at this point it comes a close second to the Alabama-Texas A&M epic that more than lived up to expectations. If this game is half as good as that one, it will be a night to remember.
Regardless where this game fits in the hierarchy of past games, the one thing that is for sure is that it is one heck of a quarterback matchup. The two are a study in contrasts. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd is a senior in his third full year of starting experience. His numbers are stellar, and he is on a path to a first-round selection in the NFL Draft next spring. Florida State’s Jameis Winston has numbers that are at least as impressive this year, but the redshirt freshman has just five career starts under his belt. Boyd is in the closing stages of a great college football career, while Winston’s is still ahead of him. Both are likely to have a solid day. The one who handles the immense pressure — and the fierce defense they are lining up against — a little better is likely to be the winner.
Florida State at Clemson Betting Storylines
The offense is getting all the headlines on both sides in this one, but the defenses could very likely determine how this one turns out. Florida State has allowed just 12 points per game, and Clemson has given up just 16.2. Both totals are good enough to wind up in the Top 10 nationally. Both squads have been hit relatively hard one time — though Clemson allowing 35 to Georgia is more acceptable than Florida State allowing 34 against Boston College. Beyond that, Clemson has been relatively consistent against a schedule that hasn’t been particularly strong, while Florida State has also faced a weak schedule but made a major statement by shutting out a Maryland team that had been rolling heading into the game. The takeaway — both of these teams have defenses that are very good and which are in good form right now, but they both can be scored on by a decent offense having a good day.
I usually save the trends for the next section, but there are three trends that are more than interesting enough to talk about here. For starters, the Seminoles don’t have a win at Clemson since 2001. The home team has had a huge edge overall, winning 10 of the last 11 games. Second, 2007 was the last time a freshman quarterback came into Clemson and left with a win — Tyrod Taylor from Virginia Tech. Third, while Clemson lost at Florida State last year, they have won their 11 conference games since — and all 11 wins have been by double-digits. Florida State hasn’t exactly struggled, either — they have won nine straight in the ACC, and seven have been by double-digits.
Florida State at Clemson Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Florida State favored by a field goal on the road. Clemson has drawn nearly 70 percent of the bets so far, but the line has stayed stable at this price. It could move, but it won’t move dramatically barring a major development. The total sits at 34.
Clemson maintains momentum well. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a performance of at least 450 total yards of offense. Clemson has gone “under” the total in each of their last four games against squads with a winning record. The Seminoles have struggled to cover spreads in this rivalry — they are 0-5 ATS in their last five at Clemson and 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings overall.
Free College Football Picks: Florida State at Clemson Predictions
I like to do a preliminary handicapping of a game before I see a spread. When I did that I determined I would be on Clemson as long as they were at -4 or better. You can imagine, then, that I was thrilled by this number. I like the setting, and as much as I respect Jameis Winston and what future he has in front of him, I would much rather be on the experienced veteran in a game like this. I have doubts about the overall mental toughness of the Florida State team as well. Clemson would be the clear outright choice for me, so having an extra field goal in my pocket makes me happy.
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