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The Florida State Seminoles (4-2, 2-2 in ACC) host the No. 4 Clemson Tigers (6-0, 4-0 in ACC) at Doak S. Campbell Stadium Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Clemson-Florida State airs on ABC.
These are teams heading in opposite directions with Florida State losing back-to-back games to teams that Clemson has already defeated earlier this season.
The Tigers are starting to show balance: Clemson has scored at least 30 points in every game this season and has one of the most talented defenses in the country.
The Seminoles are sliding into mediocrity after a hot start featuring a primetime victory over the LSU Tigers Labor Day Weekend.
We’re laying the points with the CLEMSON TIGERS -3.5 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook and wouldn’t hate just taking their moneyline (ML) at -170.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
Clemson wins the trenches
This is my most significant factor in the Clemson-Florida State matchup. The Tigers have a better Havoc rate differential (+9.74% vs. +0.89%) and line yards differential (+0.72 yards per snap vs. -0.26 yards per snap).
The case for Florida State covering, and winning this game outright, is Seminoles QB Jordan Travis being able to pick apart Clemson’s young secondary.
Wake Forest covered as home underdogs vs. the Tigers on Sept. 24th because Demon Deacons QB Sam Hartman torched Clemson through the air. But, the Seminoles don’t have the aerial attack to exploit this Tigers’ weakness.
Clemson’s pass rush should overwhelm Florida State as well. The Seminoles’ pass-blocking grade is 59.8 (ranked 85th nationally), per Pro Football Focus (PFF). At the same time, the Tigers have an 87.1 pass-rush grade (ranked fifth nationally by PFF).
Also, Clemson’s defense can negate one of Florida State’s main strengths. The Seminoles gain 5.0 yards per rush (ranked 24th nationally), but the Tigers allow the second-fewest yards per rush (1.9) in the country.
The bottom line is Florida State’s offensive line won’t get enough push against Clemson’s defensive line or keep pressure out of Travis’ face.
DJ Uiagalelei’s improvement
Clemson’s offense has taken a step forward in 2022 because Uiagalelei is beginning to reach his five-star potential. The Tigers are scoring 39.3 points per game (PPG) this season after scoring just 26.3 PPG last year.
Uiagalelei is a dual-threat quarterback with a Cam Newton-like player profile. He’s second in the ACC in total TDs at 17, seven more than Travis.
The Tigers cover in these spots
Clemson is 4-2 ATS (5.7 ATS margin) since 2016 as favorites of -6.5 or less in ACC games and 3-1-1 ATS vs. Florida State (+6.8 ATS margin) over that span. Also, the Tigers are 27-16 ATS (+4.0 ATS margin) in games with a total of 50 or higher over the past six-plus seasons.
BET: Clemson -3.5 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook
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