Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 8:45 AM EST.
FLORIDA ST +125 over NC State
Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
Streaming: ACC Network
3:30 PM EST. First there is the ranked 6-2 Wolfpack laying a short tag to the Seminoles in Tallahassee which immediately grabs our attention but when we consider recent events into the mix, our focus directs toward Florida State.
Before we consider the rather “easy” task of spotting a small amount of points to the 3-5 Seminoles, which in itself raises red flags, we have to also consider the bad-beat of the year that Florida State backers underwent last week at Clemson.
Last week, the betting market was all over the Seminoles as they faded the coverless Tigers at home. The line bounced from the Tigers laying -10½ before it was driven down to -9 before it ticked back up to -9.5. The market was still keen to bite no matter where the line landed but the closing number in particular is of special interest. A cover never seemed in jeopardy for Florida State who were not only under the number for 99.9% of the game but were in a position to defeat the Tigers outright in Death Valley. On the very last play of regulation (literally 0:00 seconds left), FSU trailed by four points and tried its luck with a lateral drill and you already know where this is going to go. Inexplicably a fumble occurred, which put a Clemson defender in position to recover the fumble and fall into the end zone.
It is worth noting that the play actually had to be reviewed to determine whether the defender’s knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line. The stripes ruled that it was a touchdown and thus Clemson won 30-20 generating a phantom cover that resulted in a tremendous amount of uproar. If one held a FSU ticket, this was one of the worse beats perhaps in recent years and this in itself makes the ‘Noles a tough sell this week. You see, the market doesn’t see that Florida State should have cashed a ticket. Instead, they see another loss while allowing 30 points to Clemson. We get to take advantage of market perception here.
For 59 minutes and 59 seconds, the Noles held great value last week. Aside from the bizarre ending, one can blame earlier gaffes (such as a needless late hit on D.J. Uiagalelei on the Tigers’ go-ahead drive late in the 4th Q) for not scoring the outright upset. That is in-game variance at its highest level. As long as QB Jordan Travis is beyond the mess he made of the final play last Saturday, he looks capable of sparking the ‘Noles as he did in earlier October wins vs. North Carolina and Syracuse.
North Carolina State is progressing toward a nice bowl reward, but it is becoming increasingly reliant upon QB Devin Leary, who seems to do all of the heavy lifting by himself. The Wolfpack cannot run the ball and they needed a pair of TD’s in the final six minutes last week to cover against Louisville, thus creating a very misleading scoreline (28-13) vs. the Cards. Talk about a false road favorite and one need not look further than the Wolfpack spotting a tag in Tallahassee.
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FLORIDA ST +126 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.52)