The Florida State Seminoles take a 22-game winning streak into arguably their toughest matchup of the season Saturday when they host the unbeaten Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The defending national champion Seminoles have struggled to stay motivated in trying to repeat this year, failing to cover the spread in six of their last seven games.
Point spread: The Seminoles opened as 13.5-point favorites at Doak Campbell Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick via Odds Shark computer: 42.0-26.8 Seminoles
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
Notre Dame is a talented offensive team that can test Florida State’s defense more than most of the team’s previous opponents. The Fighting Irish have scored 30 points or more in five of their six games this season, the exception being a 17-14 home win over a Stanford squad that has not allowed more than 17 points to any foe in 2014.
They were three-point underdogs in that game and are coming off a 50-43 victory against North Carolina last Saturday. Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threw for 300 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the latest win and will be the key against the Seminoles.
Why the Florida State Seminoles can cover the spread
Florida State certainly seems to play to the level of its competition, and hosting a top team could be exactly the type of motivation the team needs right now. The Seminoles also fell from the top spot in the polls for the first time this season despite taking care of business in a 38-20 road win at Syracuse last week, which could motivate them even more.
They have risen to the occasion whenever needed this year, and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston had maybe his best game of the season against the Orange with 317 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Fighting Irish have seen Golson lead them to 18 wins in his last 19 games, with the lone loss during that stretch coming against Alabama in the BCS Championship Game two years ago. Golson missed all of last season due to an academic suspension and will go head-to-head with Winston in a Heisman showcase game. Notre Dame has gone 4-0 against the spread in its last four games as an underdog, winning three of them straight up.
While the Irish may find it tough to end Florida State’s winning streak on the road, double digits is a lot to lay with a Seminoles team that only covered the spread this year in a 43-3 rout of Wake Forest two weeks ago. Oddsmakers continue to give the defending national champs too much respect, and that will show again here.
- Notre Dame is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games on the road.
- The total has gone under in six of Florida State's last nine games.