Florida State vs Clemson Odds, Predictions, Picks: College Football Betting Preview

Florida State vs Clemson Odds, Predictions, Picks: College Football Betting Preview article feature image

Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images. Pictured: DJ Uiagalelei.

  • The Clemson Tigers host the Florida State Seminoles in ACC action on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Tigers have had a disappointing start to the season, but so have the Seminoles.
  • Mike Ianniello breaks down the game below and explains why there's betting value on the underdog.

Florida State vs. Clemson Odds

Saturday, Oct. 30
3:30 p.m. ET
Florida State Odds
-105o / -115u
Clemson Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Albert Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

He must have been talking about betting on Clemson this season because despite being 0-7 against the spread this season, for some reason the Tigers are 9.5-point favorites against Florida State this Saturday.

Give Mike Norvell credit after the Seminoles' 0-4 start; it would have been easy for this season to tailspin out of control.

But the Noles have picked things up and have won their last three games, beating Syracuse (by the same margin as Clemson), taking down North Carolina for the second straight year and trashing UMass by 56 points.

Will Clemson finally be able to play up to its talent level, or will it continue to be overvalued because of the logo on its helmet?

Florida State Seminoles

Florida State Offense

Most Florida State fans were hoping that when McKenzie Milton transferred in, he would be fully healthy and return to the player we saw at UCF.

Instead, Milton was unable to earn the job over dual-threat Jordan Travis, who has taken a big step forward from last year. After completing just 55% of his passes, he has raised that to 62.7% this season and has seven touchdowns and two interceptions in FSU’s three conference games.

Travis has also added four touchdowns and 57.8 yards per game on the ground. He helps create a dynamic rushing attack led by sophomore Jashaun Corbin. Corbin is averaging 97.6 yards per game and 7.9 yards per attempt. Freshman Treshaun Ward is also averaging over seven yards per carry.

Florida State dealt with offensive line injuries early in the season, but it is back at full strength now. The offensive line ranks 11th in the country in Line Yards and has helped the Noles' rushing attack lead the ACC in yards per carry.

Florida State Defense

Last season, the Florida State defense sat 99th in Rush Success Rate and 119th in Pass Success Rate. They got absolutely no pressure and couldn’t stop a nosebleed.

In their second year under Norvell and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller, the Seminoles have really put things together and improved quickly. They have climbed up to 31st in Rush Success and 41st in Pass Success.

Safety Jammie Robinson has the team’s best coverage grade and is also their leading tackler.

Up front, Jermaine Johnson II is a pressure machine from the edge, generating 25 pressures with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. He very well could end up being the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

It is hard to quantify effort but when you watch Florida State, especially its defense, it certainly looks like the effort level has been much higher than what we saw last year.

They are doing the fundamentals a lot better, taking three less penalties per game and ranking fifth in the country in tackling.

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Clemson Tigers

Clemson Offense

Trevor Lawrence, Deshaun Watson, Tajh Boyd and even Kelly Bryant aren’t walking through that door on Saturday. Everybody expected highly-touted prospect D.J. Uiagalelei to just keep things rolling, but the freshman has really struggled, throwing only four touchdowns this season with five interceptions.

Last week against Pitt, Uiagalelei was benched for true freshman Taisun Phommachanh. So, there is now suddenly a quarterback controversy in Death Valley.

Clemson has talented receivers in Joseph Ngata and Justyn Ross, but with nobody to get them the ball, the Tigers rank 128th in the country in Passing Success Rate.

Stellar quarterback play and guys like Travis Etienne have quietly covered up offensive line issues for the Tigers over the last couple years. Now, with an inexperienced backfield and injury issues, the offensive line is getting exposed a lot more.

Freshman running back Will Shipley is the team’s best rusher. He returned last week after missing the previous two games with an injury.

With the struggles in the pass game, they need Shipley to be their best offensive player.

Clemson Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Clemson is still one of the best in the league.

While it might not be at the truly elite level we have seen in the past, the Tigers rank in the top 20 in Rush Success, Pass Success, Line Yards, Big Plays and Finishing Drives.

The injury bug has crushed the Tigers, especially on defense. 19 scholarship players have missed at least two games this season.

Clemson’s best defensive player Bryan Bresee is out for the season, along with safety Lannden Zanders and defensive end Justin Foster. Defensive tackle Tyler Davis returned last week after missing four games and linebacker Jake Venables is a game-time decision after playing just two snaps all year.

Linebacker James Skalski is still the heart and soul of the defense and the team’s leading tackler. The Tigers also have a pair of excellent cornerbacks in Andrew Booth Jr. and Mario Goodrich.

Despite the injuries and its inability to create a pass rush, Clemson still has the best defense in the ACC. It has allowed just 14.6 points per game and 4.6 yards per play, both the best in the conference and top 10 in the country.

Florida State vs. Clemson Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida State and Clemson match up statistically:

Florida State Offense vs. Clemson Defense
Rush Success1413
Line Yards1117
Pass Success7720
Pass Blocking**43100
Big Play1218
Finishing Drives82
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Clemson Offense vs. Florida State Defense
Rush Success7331
Line Yards4676
Pass Success12841
Pass Blocking**6163
Big Play7166
Finishing Drives6035
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling542
Middle 821125
SP+ Special Teams267
Plays per Minute5544
Rush Rate60.1% (32)50.8% (90)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Florida State vs. Clemson Betting Pick

As its 0-7 ATS record indicates, Clemson continues to be priced based on the logo on the helmet instead of its play on the field. What has this team shown this year that warrants them this big of a favorite in a conference game?

The Tigers have yet to score more than 21 points against an FBS opponent this year and are averaging just 15.2 points per game in those six games against FBS competition.

Florida State is averaging 33.7 points per game against FBS teams and is trending in the right direction. The Seminoles have scored more points week after week while allowing fewer points each week.

The Seminoles have outgained the Tigers and have a higher Success Rate on offense, both on the ground and in the air this season. They have been great at tackling and their defense has really improved since last year.

I see no reason the 2021 Clemson Tigers should be favored by this much, so I will play Florida State +9.5 and I would play it down to +7.5.

Pick: Florida State +9.5

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