ACC Football Odds, Picks: N.C. State Wolfpack at (12) Florida State Seminoles

Jimbo Fisher is highly confident in DeAndre Francois’ replacement this week, but are oddsmakers perhaps too confident in the freshman?

NC State at Florida State
Time: 11 AM CT, Saturday
Spread: FLST -13
Total: 51

Odds c/o 5dimes

N.C. State is no stranger to this situation: upsetting a high ranked Florida State Seminoles team. The Wolfpack defeated FSU in a stunner in 2012 (when FSU was ranked No. 3 overall and a National Title Favorite), and is hoping for a recreation of that feat as it travels to Tallahassee to face the Seminoles as heavy 13-point underdogs in ACC play this Saturday. Florida State will hope to avoid disaster, in a game that is scheduled to air at 11 AM (Central) on ABC and ESPN.

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The Wolfpack is rolling as winners of its last two but did suffer an opening week defeat to South Carolina. N.C. State plowed through Furman last week by a count of 49-16, but its high-powered assault will meet its match with a tough Seminoles’ defense this week. Even so, a 51-point total will leave plenty of wiggle room for the Wolfpack to find the end zone. Starting quarterback Ryan Finley has been sensational thus far, albeit N.C. State has faced mediocre teams at best.

The 6-foot-4 junior quarterback has thrown for 987 yards already through three games, with an outstanding completion ratio of 75.6 percent. He also has thrown six interceptions thus far while having no passes picked off. The Wolfpack can air it out, but its backfield has been more than solid in its own right, too. Nyheim Hines and Reggie Gallaspy have both been solid, especially Hines, leading the team with 202 rushing yards and a 5.2 yard per average carry.

Though Jalan McClendon has just six touches, his 11.2 yards-per-carry lead the team and he is No. 3 in overall yardage (67). Finley’s top receivers, of course, have been having field days. Kelvin Harmon is his No. 1 option, and he has been good for 268 yards on 24 catches, an 11.2 yard per catch average.

Jaylen Samuels is a dual-threat running back and wide receiver, who has just 38 rushing yards on the season but leads the Wolfpack in rushing TDs (three), while also being the No. 2 receiver with 26 catches for 220 yards. His total of five TDs is a team best, and the Wolfpack can score the ball—this all should make that abundantly clear. What is far less clear, is whether they can do a single thing to stop a high-powered FSU offensive assault.

N.C. State was unable to control a far lesser foe in its Week 1 defeat, and thus the reasoning behind it being 13-point dogs to the No. 12 ranked Seminoles.

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Florida State has played just one game on the young season—and an early-season schedule derailed by hurricane Irma is entirely why, of course. In its lone gone thus far, the Seminoles lost 24-7 to No. 1 overall ranked Alabama, which was the toughest card possible for FSU to draw for a season opener. Its week 2 matchup was

Its week 2 matchup was canceled, and week 3 was postponed (a game that was supposed to be played against Miami of Florida). The ACC schedule should help Florida State build some momentum in a season entirely derailed by the weather thus far.

After this week’s matchup against N.C. State, it will face Wake Forest, Miami, and Duke before an anticipated clash with No. 19 overall Louisville on Oct. 21. While Florida State is annually a dominant offensive team, its sole game against Alabama surely would seem to prove just the opposite, and starting quarterback Deondre Francis struggled to throw the football while also sustaining injury. He is lost for the season with the knee injury, and the Seminoles are hoping freshman James Blackman is somehow ready to assume the starter’s role.

Jimbo Fisher spoke highly of the prospect, saying he has the presence and poise to replace Francois, and he stressed that his teammates respect his presence and leadership—also emphasizing just how important that is to a football team. He is the first freshman to draw a start for the Seminoles since the legendary Charlie Ward, and while Florida State certainly has the history of recruiting and producing great quarterbacks, most figure that Francois’ injury is little more than a death blow to any potential title hopes the Seminole may have entertained this season.

Florida State will have to do a good job with its front five because Wolfpack defensive end Bradley Chubb is a machine and could hinder the Seminoles backfield, while also putting additional pressure on Blackman. Florida State has won the last four matchups and five straight at home, but N.C. State is 20-4 ATS in its last 24 games following a bye week, while also having gone 8-3 ATS in its last 11 after a win of 20-plus points. The stage is set for an upset, but we still expect the Wolfpack to fall just shy of that while easily managing to cover a disrespectful 13-point spread this week from college football oddsmakers.

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