The Irish have some challenges heading into Florida State at Notre Dame betting. Brian Kelly’s team is in a good spot with a 2-0 start and a #5 ranking in the country, but they’ve also been idle due to positive COVID tests since a 52-0 beatdown of USF on September 19th This isn’t your grandfather’s Florida State team, but they’ve at least played three of the last four weeks.
Oddsmakers aren’t expecting a lot of rust from Notre Dame as they are -21 point favorites at home on Saturday night (7:30 PM ET, NBC). The Seminoles have dropped a 16-13 home game to Georgia Tech to start the year and were blown out 52-10 by Miami in game two. FSU comes into South Bend off a win, but just 41-24 over Jacksonville State as nearly 4 TD favorites.
Seminoles Go With New QB Starter
There’s not a whole lot going right with the Seminoles offense to start 2020. FSU ranks 59th in points scored per game (21.3) and has been especially bad in the passing game as their 215.0 yds/game are 50th in the nation. As a result, Mike Norvell will turn to his third starter of the season when Jordan Travis gets the nod in Florida State at Notre Dame betting.
Travis was solid last week in going 12/17 for 210 and a TD as well as running for 48 yards and a score on the ground. It was a nice outing for Travis leading FSU to five straight scoring drives off the bench, but the numbers also came against Jacksonville State. Either way, something wasn’t working for FSU as they posted 23 points total in two losses to start the season.
One thing the FSU defense has going for them on Saturday night is that the Irish haven’t played in the last three weeks. Otherwise things are pretty bleak for the ‘Noles on that side of the ball. The last time FSU went on the road they allowed 200 yards rushing to Miami and another 267 and 2 TD through the air from D’Eriq King. Even Jacksonville State QB Zerrick Cooper was 22/30 for 232 vs. the Florida State secondary last week.
How Prepared Will Irish Be?
There’s no question that Notre Dame is the better team in Saturday night’s matchup, but how will the team respond after a 3-week layoff? The positive COVID tests and a scheduled off-day last week are unfortunate for an Irish team that rolled to a 52-0 win their last time out behind 281 yards rushing.
Florida State is going to give up some points on Saturday, even though the betting total for this matchup is ‘only’ 53.5. FSU ranks 54th in the country against the pass (279.3) which should allow ND quarterback Ian Book to shake off the cobwebs rather quickly. Book was just 12/19 for 143 yards vs. USF, but he wasn’t needed after a 35-0 halftime lead.
While on paper Florida State is more vulnerable against the pass, they also give up a ton of rushing yards at 141.3 ypg. The Notre Dame offensive line is arguably the best in the country, and that has allowed RB Kyren Williams to compile 277 total yards on the season. A versatile offense and a Notre Dame defense that has allowed just 13 points in two games is why ND is -1500 on the Moneyline in this matchup.
Florida State at Notre Dame Betting Free Pick
It’s hard to predict how sharp the Irish will be after a three week layoff. If Notre Dame had played the last week or two, the -21 points doesn’t even look like that much to overcome. While the Irish offense may struggle, it’s much harder to get rusty on defense. The Seminoles offense is in shambles, and going on the road in front of 10,000 ND fans on a Saturday night doesn’t help things.
Notre Dame 27-Florida State 13
Free Pick: Under 53.5