Notre Dame vs. Florida State games have historically been among the best in the history of the sport, with several key meetings in the 1990s decided by a touchdown or less. Saturday’s matchup in South Bend could have a different flair with Notre Dame on a path to the College Football Playoff and Florida State struggling, but the storied tradition will continue. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Irish are 16.5-point favorites over the Seminoles with the total at 51 in the current Notre Dame vs. Florida State odds. Those lines have swung hard since stunning news broke Thursday morning that Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book would reportedly miss the game with a rib injury, with the spread and total both falling. Before you make any FSU vs. Notre Dame picks and predictions, you’ll definitely want to see what SportsLine expert Emory Hunt has to say.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has put his stamp on college football. His expertise has earned him the nickname “The Czar of the Playbook,” and Hunt already has spent endless hours breaking down the rosters of FBS clubs. He has been particularly strong handicapping ACC programs, which includes an incredible 10-1 record on spread picks for or against Florida State. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hunt has locked in another strong against the spread pick involving the Seminoles. He’s only sharing it over at SportsLine.
Hunt knows that Book missing Saturday’s showdown certainly changes the complexion of the game, but it doesn’t mitigate Notre Dame’s offensive advantage entirely. Backup quarterback Brandon Wimbush has plenty of experience and Notre Dame’s running game will receive a boost with him under center.
Going back to last season, Notre Dame is 11-0 in games where it rushes for at least 200 yards. With Wimbush under center, expect Notre Dame to commit to running the football authoritatively to set up play-action opportunities and rollouts that keep things simple in the passing game.
But just because Notre Dame features an explosive offense and an effective ground game doesn’t mean it will cover a 16.5-point spread.
FSU will be raring to go with an opportunity to undermine a rival’s national title hopes and give new coach Willie Taggart a signature victory. With Book out, the Seminoles should be even more energized.
They have been able to move the ball through the air, averaging over 280 passing yards per game for the season and over 340 yards in their last three contests. And Florida State has put up those numbers with both James Blackman and Deondre Francois under center.
The Irish defense is strong, but it has proven susceptible to the pass in games against Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt this season.
Hunt has analyzed this matchup from every possible angle and while we can tell you he’s leaning over, he has discovered a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing his pick over at SportsLine.
Who covers Florida State vs. Notre Dame? And which crucial x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should jump on Saturday, all from a seasoned expert who’s 10-1 on Florida State picks.
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