NCAA College Football Week 3 Betting Preview: Wake Forest at (5) Florida State

Senior E.J. Manuel will lead the 5th ranked Seminoles into their first conference game of the year Saturday at noon on ESPN.
Wake Forest vs. (5) Florida State
Time: Noon EST, Saturday, Sept 15
Spread: FSU -27.5
Total: 54.5

Betting Odds from Bookmaker


The Seminoles are 2-0 and have some impressive stats, but those are a bit inflated, to say the least. The first two weeks, FSU caught the lackluster squads of Murray State and Savannah State, and between the two games, they have yet to allow a TD. After winning 69-3 opening night against the Racers of Murray State, they came back to shut out Savannah State 55-0. As a result of these wins, the Seminoles rank 2nd in the nation in points per game with 62.0 per contest, and are 1st in points allowed, giving up 1.5 points per contest.

I’m hardly suggesting this week against Wake is going to be a huge challenge, but the 27.5 points spread is the closest so far for the Seminoles, who won’t face an actual challenge until next week against No. 11 Clemson.

Senior QB E.J. Manuel has improved upon last year’s 65.3% completion percentage, but again, it has been against weak competition. This year, Manuel is 27 of 35 for 349 yards with four TDs. His main target has been sophomore Clint Trickett. Trickett, a local product from Tallahassee, has caught 183 yards so far through two games, after receiving 675 yards last year as a frosh.

At RB, it has been a time share between Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. Freeman and Wilder combine for 259 yards per game, and Wilder has accounted for four of the five rushing TDs.

The Seminoles are deeper than in recent years past and if injuries hit this year like they did in 2011, they might be all right. The OL is the key to the Seminoles being great, because their defense alone should be enough to secure an ACC championship. Athlon magazine predicted an 11-2 record with a 6-2 ACC record. Wake Forest won’t be the biggest challenge in the ACC, but even at 27.5 point underdogs according to college football oddsmakers, the Seminoles will face their biggest “challenge” today.


The Demon Deacons have edged out their first two opponents, neither of which are great programs. After winning by a mere field goal in week one against Liberty, they went on to beat the North Carolina Tar Heels by only one point in week two.

The offense hasn’t been that impressive. Wake has only 81.0 rushing yards per game, which ranks near the bottom of the nation. Their passing game has been better, with 278.5 yards per game, but neither will be enough against a squad like FSU.

Wake Forest has the most talented roster they have assembled in recent years, and last year marked a return to Bowl play for the Demon Deacons. They have several players on both sides of the field with All-ACC potential, but head coach Jim Grobe will attempt to help the team overcome a lack of experience. Athlon magazine predicts a 5-7 finish for the Demon Deacons, with a 3-5 in-conference record.

Tanner Price will be the reason for the success of Wake. He threw for 3,000+ yards last season and has already recorded 522 yards through two games this season. He’s 43 of 66 this season, but has connected on only one TD. He’ll have to be careful this week with FSU’s Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes both being excellent cornerbacks.

Betting Trends:

Wake Forest is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after an ATS win. They are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 overall, and 6-14 ATS in their last 20 on the road. They are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 after accumulating less than 100 yards in their previous game. The Demon Deacons are only 1-5 ATS in their last 6 on the road.

FSU is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards their previous game and they are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 after scoring more than 40 the previous game. The Seminoles are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games following an SU win of 20+. The Seminoles are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in September.

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