Although Florida State started to press against Boston College when the game got close, failing to cover the spread for the first time this season, our picks produced another 2/3 week, which runs our total to a blistering 7-9 total on the season.
Death Valley is where dreams come to die, but hopefully, our picks and the Seminoles can come out the other side when the clocks hit triple zero.
Three picks, Three winners, here we go.
All lines are presented by DraftKings — as always, gamble at your own risk.
Trey Benson Over/Under 57.5 Rushing Yards
It is not a secret the Florida State run game this year looks worse than the team that gashed opponents on the ground a season ago. Although the numbers still seem solid, the eye test tells a different story. However, the Seminoles will never fray from trying to pound the rock, and to be successful this weekend, they need to run the ball efficiently. I think this is the game where the rushing attack breaks out.
Trey Benson lacks the stats early on in the season he produced last year. But Mike Norvell and the coaching staff know the big run is approaching. On the year, Benson has 33 carries, almost doubling that of LT and JT, who each tucked the ball 17 times on the year. Translation: Benson will be a focal point in the offense. Florida State may have found something in the run game last week, as their outside runs were their most successful play, and the use of Johnny and Jaheim blocking on the outside provided dividends. The Clemson run defense to start the year has not had the same success as their back end. The Tigers are giving up almost 100 yards per game on the ground to start the year against teams like Charleston Southern and FAU. Duke averaged 6.6 yards per carry against the Tigers and took control of that game by wearing out the Clemson D and controlling time of possession. The return of 1 or 2 starters for Florida State along the offensive line could be what the doctor ordered to get the run game going. The Death Valley crowd will be raucous early, and the best way to take them out of a game is to run the ball. Look for Trey Benson to get the ball early and often as he gets his season back on track.
The pick: Over
Will Shipley Over/Under 71.5 Rushing Yards
I know Florida State has done a solid job stopping running backs to stop the year. I know Kye Robichaux only averaged 3 yards a carry on Saturday, even if it felt like 100. Will Shipley will get his on Saturday.
Historically, Shipley owns the ‘Noles. Take last year, for example; he rushed for over 100 yards on 20 carries, and his kickoff return changed the game's complexion. Shipley has picked up where he left off last season, already eclipsing a 100-yard rushing game this season as he ran all over the Blue Devil defense. Not only is this a bet on how good Will Shipley is, but Clemson does not want Cade Klubnik to win this game alone. Klubnik’s average yards per completion is 6.5(for reference, Jordan Travis averages 8.8), proving the offensive staff does not fully trust him. The Clemson passing offense got worse news this week as they just lost another receiver to an already thin room with Cole Turner being out for the season. Boston College may have put evidence on film of the need to wear down this Florida State defense, as they did not have the foot speed to chase down Castellanos in the fourth quarter. Will Shipley may not break the game open like he has in the past, but I expect him to get 20+ carries and create an impact on Saturday.
The Pick: Over
Over/ Under 55 Total Points
On the year, Florida State averages 47.3 points per game, while Clemson averages a tick lower at 40.3. That can only mean one thing: The under.
Although it may not make sense on paper, the way these two teams are designed creates value in this pick. As discussed earlier, both teams need to establish a running game to create success. Pounding the rock will take loads of time off the clock, producing fewer possessions and, ultimately, less points. Further, the Clemson offense does not make big plays, as they have an explosive play rate of 105th in the country. The need to drive the ball down the field and not put up quick scores will keep the point total down in this one. On the flip side, the FSU offense does produce big plays; however, the length of the Clemson secondary needs to be discussed more going into this game. They do not have a rotational piece in their back four that stands below 6’0. The length that the Seminoles boast on the outside that gives teams so much trouble will not be as much of an advantage as it has been in past weeks. This will create the need for the underneath throw and a consistent running game, which does not equal high-flying scoreboard running play. Throw in that both of these teams’ best players (Barrett Carter and Jared Verse) are on defense, and less than 55 points looks to be the play of the day.
The pick: Under
There you go, friends, three picks, three winners; everyone enjoy Saturday afternoon!
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.