Florida State Seminoles vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Picks

October 8, 2020

Date:Saturday, October 10th
Time:7:30 PM ET
Venue:Notre Dame Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:ND -21
O/U:53.5

The 1-2 Florida State Seminoles will go on the road Saturday night to face off with the 2-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 7:30 PM ET in Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish enter as 21-point favorites and we’re looking at a 53.5 over/under. It’s been a tough season for both of these teams, but for very different reasons. Let’s dive into how this game will go and who will cover the spread. 

When the Florida State Seminoles Have The Ball

The Seminoles came into the season with some lofty expectations and things have gone just about as terrible as possible. After losing to Georgia Tech to open the season, they were brutalized 52-10 by the Miami Hurricanes. They finally got a win against Jacksonville State, but they were trailing for most of the game anyway. This is simply not a very good team. There is a ton of talent scattered across the roster, but they don’t mesh together well and neither side of the ball shows any type of consistency. 

If we’re going to dig for some positives, QB Jordan Travis looked great after coming in halfway through the game against Jacksonville State. He threw for 210 yards and a TD on top of 48 rushing yards and another score. He should get the start once again if this coaching staff has any clue. That remains to be seen. 

Travis threw the ball all over the field, targeting five different receivers on 17 throws. Keyshawn Helton caught three for 53 yards and a score while Ontaria Wilson hauled in seven balls for 86 yards. The best receiver on the squad is Tamorrion Terry, who added six catches of his own with 77 yards. They’re a talented group when someone delivers the ball accurately.

At running back, Lawrence Toafili emerged against Miami and led the workload against Jacksonville State. He’s averaged eight-plus yards per carry in both games. He’ll share the backfield with Texas AM-transfer Jahaun Corbin. He’s not as explosive, but is great at finding the chains and falling forward. He can also make a huge impact through the air. 

It doesn’t matter how good the offense looks if the defense can’t stop anyone. The Seminoles have given up close to 500 yards per game to opposing defenses and this Notre Dame one will give them no break. Book is one of the best QB’s in the country and FSU will have to come out as a team, and not just a bunch of individual talents.

When The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Have The Ball

It’s been nearly a month since Notre Dame has last played. Due to COVID, multiple games have been cancelled and Irish players are just holding their fingers that this game will actually happen. They’re still the fifth-ranked team in the country and will be looking to blow the Seminoles out this weekend before the schedule gets a bit tougher. 

Remember, Notre Dame joined the ACC for this season, so their schedule looks a whole lot different than usual. They’ve played Duke and South Florida thus far, beating the two squads by a combined score of 79-13. Both sides of the ball have taken care of business and they’ve done all this while QB Ian Book hasn’t had to do much to this point.

The running game has been ridiculous through two games, averaging a whopping 229.5 yards per game. Kyren Williams has led the bunch with 174 yards and two scores while C’Bo Flemister has added 127 yards and a score of his own. Book isn’t a guy that will pick up many yards on the ground, but he’s a huge body and he does a good job of falling forward. He has three rushing scores to lead the team. This Fighting Irish team has five starting-level running backs and defenses will have to be ready for each of them. 

Ian Book has thrown for nearly 6,000 yards over the course of his Notre Dame career and comes into the season with some of the highest expectations of any QB not named Trevor Lawrence. The CFB eyes are on him and he’ll have to figure out how to deal with the loss of leading-receivers Cole Kmet and Chase Claypool.

Thus far, Tommy Tremble has been his primary target. The big tight end has reeled in eight catches for 104 yards. Braden Lenzy and Joe Wilkins Jr. start on the outside and neither has separated themselves as a difference-maker. If Notre Dame wants to make noise in the playoff, they will need a few superstars to develop on offense. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: FSU +21

While Notre Dame is the far better team, I really liked what I saw out of Jordan Travis and I think he gives this offense a shot of what it needs. The talent is unquestionably there, so it just comes down to figuring out who works well together. Travis looked to mesh with the offense and I think they keep this game closer than expected. 

The Fighting Irish haven’t been great through the air and the concerns are valid with both top pass-catchers graduating. The Noles might not be a very good team, but they’re as talented as anyone in the country and that will upset a couple of teams later in the season. They won’t beat Notre Dame, but it’ll be closer than 21 points.

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Total Prediction

This is a tough total to bet with two defenses that are hit or miss. Notre Dame has been solid this season, but they also haven’t faced anyone and there isn’t much tape to be had on Jordan Travis. On the Noles side. they haven’t stopped much of anyone. They might cause a few turnovers, but will also give up points in bunches. I like the over here, though I’d much rather bet the spread. 

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