The Florida State Seminoles take on the NC State Wolfpack. Check out our college football odds series for our Florida State NC State prediction and pick.
The Florida State Seminoles and North Carolina State Wolfpack both lost their first games of the 2022 season this past week. The Seminoles fell at home to Wake Forest, while NC State lost on the road at Clemson in a pair of ACC Atlantic Division games. Florida State had hoped to enter this crucial two-game stretch against North Carolina State and (on Oct. 15) Clemson with a perfect record, but the FSU defense got shredded by Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, who exposed the Seminole secondary and delivered a clutch scoring drive late in the fourth quarter in Tallahassee. Florida State’s success in September (with no losses in the month) was built on a defense which made big stops in key situations. FSU made a late-game defensive stand against Louisville, and although LSU scored a late touchdown to almost defeat the Noles, Florida State kept LSU under wraps for the first three quarters of that game. Florida State lost to Wake because the Seminoles finally went up against an opponent with an above-average offense. FSU did not face an offense anywhere close to Wake in terms of overall quality in its first four games. It will be fascinating to see how the Seminole defense responds to its first true failure of the season.
North Carolina State’s loss to Clemson was due to its offense. Clemson was injured in the secondary, and another Tiger was ejected from the NC State game due to targeting. North Carolina State had a chance to throw the ball against inexperienced Clemson cornerbacks and safeties, but it couldn’t find a way through the back line of the Tigers’ defense. This was a real missed opportunity for the NC State offense. Coordinator Tim Beck could not scheme players open or find ways to take advantage of Clemson’s primary defensive liability. Clemson’s defensive line overpowered NC State’s offensive line and took time away from Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary, who never truly felt comfortable in this game.
Florida State lost because of its defense. NC State lost because of its offense. That seems like the battle which will decide this game between the Seminoles and the Wolfpack.
Here are the Florida State-NC State NCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Florida State-NC State Odds
Florida State Seminoles: +3 (-105)
NC State Wolfpack: -3 (-115)
Over: 50.5 (-114)
Under: 50.5 (-106)
Why Florida State Could Cover the Spread
The Seminoles’ defense was exposed by a quality quarterback and an above-average passing game. That seems to be the way to beat FSU: Throw against the Seminoles’ corners and find 1-on-1 matchups on the perimeter which can lead to big plays. North Carolina State does not have that kind of offense or passing game. NC State is a lot more balanced and conservative. It has not shown the ability to throw a lot of passes against a frail secondary and land big vertical strikes down the field. This plays into FSU’s hands.
Why NC State Could Cover the Spread
The Wolfpack will be at home, in a must-win situation, trying to avoid a two-game losing streak. NC State has a first-rate defense which played well against Clemson and could not be blamed for that loss. As long as quarterback Devin Leary can make a few above-average plays and convert a reasonable percentage of third downs to control the ball and establish field position, Florida State’s offense will be put in bad spots all night long against a Wolfpack defense which can dominate the game.
Final Florida State-NC State Prediction & Pick
North Carolina State won’t win this game easily, but it will win, because its defense should be able to dominate Florida State’s offense. As long as the Wolfpack can be average or slightly above average on offense, that should be enough to win.
Final Florida State-NC State Prediction & Pick: NC State -3