The 16-2 Florida State Seminoles will host the 11-7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday in a game that showcases a red-hot Florida State squad versus a struggling Fighting Irish bunch.
Although experts are clearly picking the Seminoles to win the game, but the question remains, who will cover the eight-point spread?
With Notre Dame trying to pull off a huge upset and No. 5 Florida State trying to continue its nine-game winning streak, let’s evaluate both teams before we make our pick.
Irish Plan To Keep Fighting
Notre Dame hasn’t been able to capture a win against a ranked team this year, but it has done well against others. The Irish’s most recent game against Syracuse showcased a good offense, but Notre Dame just couldn’t create enough stops on defense to prevent the Orange from scoring. Notre Dame came up just short, falling 84-82.
One piece of information that I’d like to note from Notre Dame’s last game is that, although they were down by 13 with only 13:47 left in the game, the Fighting Irish rallied back, making it a very close loss.
Facing Florida State will be a tough matchup for Notre Dame. There are some things that the Fighting Irish do better than the Seminoles. One of these is rebounding, as the Fighting Irish average almost 40 rebounds per game compared to the Seminoles’ 34.
The second is Notre Dame’s ability shooting from three. Although it is likely that Notre Dame won’t win this one, it is more than capable of scoring points when needed.
The most important thing to note in this one is Notre Dame’s record against the spread. Their overall record of 9-9 isn’t anything to write home about, but the fact that they are 6-3 ATS in their last nine gives much more confidence in their ability to cover. Be sure to note that the Fighting Irish are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against Florida State.
Best Ranking In Years
The Seminoles are No. 5 in the country, and a ranking this high hasn’t happened to the team in years, something they are not looking to give up any time soon.
The Seminoles have their eyes set on taking out Notre Dame to bring their win streak to 10. This team is one of the more well-rounded ones in the league, as, save for its terrible rebounding, Florida State does well at everything.
The most recent ranked team the Seminoles faced was Louisville in a game in which Florida State came in as underdogs and beat the Cardinals 78-65. Besides playing well on the road, the Seminoles seem to be unstoppable at home with a record of 9-0, clearly a team garnering a lot of attention this year.
As the second-best team in the AAC, the Seminoles have a favorable schedule for the next five games before they play No. 8 Duke.
Although the Seminoles have the same record ATS as the Fighting Irish at 9-9, a piece of information to note is that they are under .500 against the spread when playing at home.
Pick and Prediction
I like Notre Dame, as it has shown that it plans to keep fighting even when the chips aren’t on its side.
Unfortunately, the Irish are coming into one of the hardest places to play and don’t have enough offense to keep up with a streaking Florida State.
The Seminoles have a favorable schedule forward and are looking to grab the top spot in the ACC. Look for Devin Vassell to have another big game and take Florida State -8.