The Florida State Seminoles (4-5) travel to South Bend this weekend for a battle with the #3 overall Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST at Notre Dame Stadium and the game will be broadcast on NBC.
Taking a look at the Week 11 college football odds, Notre Dame opened as a 18-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has remained unchanged after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently listed at -18. The total for the game is sitting at 54.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Notre Dame vs Florida State
Florida State got crushed 47-28 by #22 NC State last weekend to drop back under .500 on the season. The Seminoles were badly outplayed on both sides of the ball by the Wolfpack and are now just 2-5 in ACC play. However, there were a few positives for FSU in Week 10, as newly appointed starting QB James Blackmon threw for 421 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. Blackmon was filling in for usual starter Deondre Francois, who was forced to miss the game due to an injury suffered against Clemson in Week 9. WR Tamorrion Taylor seemed to have instant chemistry with Blackmon, as the duo combined for 142 yards and two touchdowns. As a whole, Florida State is currently averaging just 23.8 points per game (105th overall) on 358.6 total yards of offense. They have had virtually no rushing attack to speak of so far this season, averaging only 76.7 yards (2.3 yards per carry) per game on the ground (127th overall).
The Seminoles also haven’t played well defensively so far this season, allowing opponents to score an average of just 30.4 points per game (85th overall) on 394.9 yards of total offense. They have been brutual against the pass, giving up an average of 281.2 yards per game through the air (121st overall).
Notre Dame stayed unbeaten last weekend after a big 31-21 victory over a tough Northwestern squad. The Fighting Irish also managed to cover the spread 8-point spread, improving to 4-4-1 ATS this season so far. QB Ian Book played fairly well, throwing for 343 yards and two touchdowns. He also found the end zone on a key 23 yard rush in the 4th quarter. Book has now passed for 1,824 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine games. RB Dexter Williams leads the way for Notre Dame on the ground, racking up 568 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 33.7 points per game (32nd overall) on 449.6 total yards. They have really looked good through the air, gaining 268.1 yards per game (35th overall).
On the other side of the ball, the Fighting Irish are currently giving up just 19.3 points per game (19th overall). They have really done a great job against the pass, allowing an average of only 188.4 yards per game through the air (26th overall) – which is especially important against FSU.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Notre Dame -18
It is looking like the weather at kickoff will play a huge factor in this game, as the forecast is calling for frigid temperatures and possible snow. That certainly doesn’t bode well for a Florida State team that is used to a warm climate and hasn’t been playing well for much of the season. Notre Dame covered the spread in a tough matchup last weekend and should have a much easier time against a Seminoles team that is likely starting a backup quarterback. I know that Blackmon filled in admirably last weekend against NC State, but this Fighting Irish secondary is extremely tough.
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Notre Dame is a very impressive 4-1-1 ATS over their last six non-conference games. Florida State is just 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games on turf and 2-8-2 ATS over their last 12 games against teams with a winning record. They are also only 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten games on the road and 7-14-1 ATS over their last 22 games overall.
The bad weather on Saturday may also pose another problem for FSU, as they are clearly far too reliant on the passing game offensively. They have virtual no rushing attack to speak of, as there are currently only two other schools in the entire country that are averaging less yards per game on the ground than the Seminoles. I think Notre Dame should have no problem winning by at least three touchdowns in this particular spot, so I’m fine laying the 18-points – give me the Fighting Irish.