The game of the day in the ACC this Saturday night (8:00pm ET) for week 4 of the 2012 college football season features a pair of top 10 teams with the 9th ranked Clemson Tigers (3-0) traveling to Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL to take on the 4th ranked Seminoles of Florida State in prime time. Clemson is 1-2 ATS this season, covering their opening game against Auburn 26-19 on a 2 point line, while failing to cover 27 and 39.5 point lines in their 52-27 win over Ball State and their 41-7 win over Furman last week. FSU is 1-1 ATS this season, there was no spread for their opener, a 69-3 shellacking of Murray State. The ‘Noles did not cover a 67 point line in a 55-0 win over Savannah State, but they covered a 28 point line in their 52-0 win over Wake Forest last week in the ACC opener.
The Clemson offense has been explosive against mostly sub-par competition this season with quarterback Tajh Boyd (747 yards passing, 6 TDs, 1 INT) leading the attack. Clemson ranks 23rd nationally in scoring offense with 39.7 points per game, and 21st in total offense with 517.3 yards per game. The Tiger defense ranks 34th in scoring defense with 17.7 PPG allowed and 58th in total defense with 368.7 YPG allowed.
Florida State has feasted on decidedly weak completion this season to the tune of 58.7 PPG on offense (2nd nationally), and 543.7 YPG of total offense (12th nationally). Their defense has only given up a field goal in their opener, but remains untested because of the competition they have faced. Currently they are number 1 across the board in all major categories defensively including total defense with 103.3 YPG allowed.
Clemson vs. Florida State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Clemson Tigers +14.5
@ Florida State Seminoles -14.5
Over 56 (-110)
Under 56 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Clemson vs. Florida State Pick:
Clemson has gone 8-3 ATS in their last 11 ACC games, and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall. FSU is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 ACC games. The under is 10-1 in Clemson’s last 11 road games, 13-3 in their last 16 ACC games, and 6-2 in their last 8 games overall. The under is 6-1 in FSU’s last 7 games overall, 6-1 in their last 7 games against teams with a winning record, and 4-1 in their last 5 home games. In head-to-head play, Clemson is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings of this series, and the home team is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings. Clemson has won 5 of the last 7 meetings outright, including a 35-30 win at home last season as a 2.5 point favorite.
These two teams are quite familiar with each other, and have played some high-scoring games in recent years including last season. They have both been largely untested this season, and this game will go a long way toward determining who plays in the ACC Title Game. FSU will have their hands full with Boyd and All-American wide receiver Sammy Watkins among others, Watkins who torched the Seminoles for 2 touchdowns and 141 receiving yards in the Tiger’s win last season is a dynamic player who scored 13 TDs and had 2,288 all-purpose yards last year. Boyd burned the FSU secondary for 344 yards last season, the Seminoles have looked outstanding on defense this season, but 14.5 points is simply too many to give a talented team that beat them last season and returns most of their players on offense. Take Clemson and the points in this game, it should be a very competitive contest that could come down to who has the ball last.