College Football Betting: Florida State Seminoles at Clemson Tigers
The most important game in the ACC for most of the decade has lost its luster over the last few seasons. Florida State’s downfall has led to its last few meetings with the Clemson Tigers being one-sided affairs. The Seminoles have lost four straight games to Clemson entering Saturday’s game, and FSU is likely to lose its fifth in a row. They are massive underdogs on the college football betting line.
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES AT CLEMSON TIGERS
LINE: CLEMSON -27
This line shows how far FSU has fallen in recent years. Florida State has not been an underdog of 27 points or more since the late 1970s, and although this line is likely to drop a bit, it is still almost certain to set the record.
Clemson has won three of the last four meetings with FSU by 10 or more points, and the Tigers’ win over the Seminoles last year was the biggest in program history. The Tigers dismantled the ‘Noles in a 59-10 rout with Trevor Lawrence tossing four touchdowns and throwing for 314 yards in the win. FSU could not get anything going on offense, and the Seminoles first points came when Clemson was already up 45-0.
WHEN FLORIDA STATE HAS THE BALL
James Blackman has been cleared to play after a bye week, and he will get the start at quarterback for the Seminoles. Blackman has played well in Kendal Briles’ offense, helping FSU improve a unit that had a tough time moving the ball last year.
He has completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 970 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. His mobility has helped him run Briles’ system well, and he makes good, quick reads with the ball. Blackman will be the starter, but FSU has announced that Alex Hornibrook will see at least a few snaps too, as his numbers are even better than those of Blackman.
FSU is going to need to have success through the air as the ground game is unlikely to get anything done. The Seminoles have one of the worst offensive lines in college football, and it’s a testament to Cam Akers that he is averaging 5.1 YPC. Akers has had to run through a lot of tackles to get to those numbers. Blackman and Hornibrook have been sacked a combined 19 times, and FSU is averaging 3.4 YPC as a team.
Clemson’s defense doesn’t have the same talent as it did last year, especially along the defensive line. However, the front seven should still control the line of scrimmage and whip FSU’s subpar linemen in the trenches. The Tigers boast the 10th best defense per SP+, so expect the Seminoles to finish with under 17 points if you like betting team totals.
WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL
Lawrence is no longer a Heisman Trophy frontrunner after a disappointing start to his sophomore season. The national championship winner that set the college football world ablaze in 2018 has had trouble with his timing all year, and he is not making the throws we saw him make last season.
He is completing only 61.8 percent of his passes this campaign, and Lawrence has thrown for just over 1,100 yards. He has already tossed five interceptions on the year, and he doesn’t have a great game to his name yet in 2019. Clemson is hoping that the bye week gave its star quarterback time to work through whatever had been troubling him.
Clemson has some great talent at the skill positions that Florida State will be hard-pressed to match up against. Tee Higgins is on pace to finish the year with over 1,000 yards thanks to his sterling 23 YPC average, and Travis Etienne is ripping off gains at 6.9 YPC.
FSU’s defense has had a real tough time stopping anyone this season, but the Seminoles showed signs of life in their last game. Jim Leavitt finally joined as a defensive analyst, and he has brought a spark that has motivated this team. That spark could be extinguished this week though if Clemson is firing on all cylinders.
Given how Clemson has looked, there isn’t a real strong reason for the Tigers to be favored by this much. Take FSU and the points.
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