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Florida State owns three straight wins in the episodic rivalry with Notre Dame, but these teams haven’t met since 2014, and a lot has changed since then. The undefeated Irish are solid favorites for Saturday night’s clash with the Seminoles in South Bend.
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 18-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 38.3-19.6 Fighting Irish (College football picks on every game)
Why the Florida State Seminoles can cover the spread
Florida State won three of four games in October, and the only loss in that span was that game it blew against Miami. The Seminoles now shoot to halt a two-game losing skid, after falling last week at North Carolina State 47-28.
Florida State, as a 10-point dog, fell down to the Wolfpack 17-0 early, hung within one score of the cover at 37-21 into the fourth quarter but faded from there. On the day, the Seminoles produced 445 yards of total offense, as quarterback James Blackman, the former starter making his first start of this season, hit on 29 of 46 throws for 421 yards and four touchdowns, against one interception.
But Florida State lost the turnover battle 2-0, which cost them seven points, and came up empty on a couple of fourth downs in Wolfpack territory, squashing a couple other scoring opportunities.
At 4-5 overall, the Seminoles need two wins in their last three games to extend the nation’s longest bowl streak to 37 straight seasons.
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
Notre Dame reached 9-0 on the season and remained at No. 3 in the polls with a 31-21 victory at Northwestern last week. That game was tied 7-7 into halftime, but the Irish scored the first 17 points of the second half to take control. In the end, Notre Dame tacked on an insurance touchdown with just under three minutes to go to push the spread as a 10-point favorite.
On the evening, the Irish out-gained Northwestern 464-249.
Notre Dame might have had an easier time of things last week, but a missed field goal and a blocked punt both set up Wildcats touchdowns, keeping them in the game.
The Irish are now 6-0 SU and 4-1-1 ATS since inserting Ian Book as the starter at quarterback, averaging 39 points per game.
Smart betting pick
Notre Dame is 5-0 at home this season but 2-3 ATS because it’s been favored by too much. The Irish couldn’t cover 34 points against Ball State or 14 points against Vanderbilt or 21 points against Pitt. And Florida State, while struggling this season, is at least as good as all three of those teams.
Notre Dame will probably win this game outright, too, but smart money takes the Seminoles and the points.
College football betting trends
The total has gone over in five of Notre Dame’s last six games.
The total has gone over in five of Florida State’s last six games.
Florida State is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games after consecutive losses.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.