Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Florida State Seminoles, Pick & NCAA Football Betting Preview | Documented Handicappers

College Football Playoff and National Championship implications are on the line Saturday night when the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame travel to Tallahassee to take on the #2 ranked Florida State Seminoles.  Florida State is the defending National Champion while Notre Dame was the runner up in 2013 after losing to Alabama.  This matchup on Saturday will help shape the college football playoff picture in 2014-15.

Notre Dame vs Florida State Preview

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: Saturday, October 18, 8:00 PM ET

Line: Florida State Seminoles (-11.5) view all NCAA Football picks

Florida State is currently ranked #2 in the nation despite a (6-0) record which indicates they have not won in dominating fashion compared to 2013.  The Seminoles have gotten off to some slow starts in games this season and have had some close calls, most notably vs Oklahoma State and Clemson.  From a football betting outlook, Florida State is just 1-5 ATS on the season with the only ATS win on the Wake Forest game where they were favored by -37.5 points and led only 13-3 at half.  A fire was lit at half time and the Seminoles scored 30 points in the 2nd half to cover the large margin.

Florida State has been surrounded by controversy from the start of Jameis Winston’s tenure as QB.  There have been rape allegations dating back a couple of years that seemed to get swept under the rug during last seasons national title run.  However, the case is still open and it appears prosecutors are gaining more evidence.  On top of these very serious allegations there are new reports that indicate Winston signed autographs for money, just like Georgia RB Todd Gurley who was suspended for the season.  Autograph signing has become a big issue in college sports but it is prohibited for college athletes to sign memorabilia for money.

On top of all of this drama, criminal allegations and 1 game suspension earlier this season; Jameis Winston is (19-0) as a starter.  The biggest concern for Florida State is that Jameis Winston will not start this game on Saturday night with the recent autograph signing allegations.  This story will continue to develop throughout the week.

Notre Dame is also no stranger to controversy.  Several players have been suspended this year due to academic violations and a cheating scandal with Notre Dame athletes.  Everett Golson was suspended the entire 2013 season after leading the Irish to the National Championship game as a freshmen in 2012.  Golson was also suspended for academic cheating and it appears to be a big problem for head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish.  To Golson’s credit, he took his suspension like a man and worked hard in the off season and it appears that he is much improved from 2012.

Golson has only one blemish on his starting record and it was the biggest of his career so far.  Golson is (16-1) with the only lose to Alabama in the 2012 National Championship.  Notre Dame is (6-0) on the season and 4-2 ATS.  Notre Dame is currently ranked #6 in the nation but some could argue that besides Stanford they haven’t truly played top ranked teams.  The Irish won a thrilling game vs Stanford 17-14 and also won a close game on Saturday over UNC which may have been a little too close for comfort, 50-43 as -16.5 favorites. S

Notre Dame vs Florida State Prediction

This should be a very good game.  Florida State is 22-0 SU last 22 games but just 1-6 ATS last 7 games.  Notre Dame is 7-2 ATS last 9 games and 4-0 ATS last 4 games as an underdog.

Early lean is to take Notre Dame and the points +11.5 on the road.  This Florida State team is not the same team as the 2013 team.  On the flip side, Notre Dame has yet to play a team like Florida State and playing on the road in Tallahassee is a HUGE task.  If there is one thing to be said about Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is that all he really does is win.  FSU has been surrounded by controversy which may play to the Irish’s favor but it has yet to affect the Seminoles.

If Winston is suspended for this game, which appears unlikely at this point, this game will be pulled by the books.  At this point in the week there is something about Notre Dame where they continue to be bashed by critics, however, they keep winning with Golson at QB.  This will be by far their biggest game of the year but let’s not forget the big games Golson played and won as a freshman.  He won at Michigan State, at home vs Michigan, played part of the game at home vs Stanford (before suffering a concussion), at Oklahoma and at USC.  They didn’t fare so well against the powerful Alabama in 2012 but that just adds to his experience.

Take Notre Dame and the points and we’ll see the Irish can hang in there to make this a close game or even shock the nation and win outright.

By RC Blevins
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