Clemson vs Florida State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Tigers Defense Steps Up Big

Clemson and Florida State go toe-to-toe, with FSU prepared for its potential toughest matchup of the season. Will the Seminoles be able to step up? Our college football betting picks don't think so. Read ahead to find out why.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Oct 15, 2022 • 07:49 ET • 4 min read
Jordan Travis Florida State Seminoles College Football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles’ renaissance will face its toughest test — not only thus far but for the entire season — against the Clemson Tigers in primetime this weekend. While Doak Campbell Stadium will obviously be rocking, that may not be enough for Florida State to throw the ACC into complete chaos.

Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Clemson vs Florida State on October 15.

Clemson vs Florida State best odds

Clemson vs Florida State picks and predictions

After opening with the Tigers favored by six points, this line fell throughout Sunday and into Monday, settling at -3.5 — making the earliest actors on Sunday look foolish when they bet on Clemson.

There is a want to lean into that mistake, to loudly say everyone else was wrong, to insist the Tigers should win this game by at least a touchdown. And that may end up right as Saturday night winds down, but that result would do nothing but obscure bad process. Once holding a bad number, assume there is something missed and pull up.

But do not abandon the game. Instead, lean into the strength you were going to trust all along.

When it comes to the Tigers, that strength is the defensive line. They started off the season modestly, but in their last three games, they have racked up 10 sacks. Harassing Sam Hartman and Devin Leary like that obviously bodes well.

That timing is not solely due to Clemson’s defense.

As its offense has found some momentum, scoring 37.3 points per game in its last three, life became easier for Clemson’s defensive line.

When opponents need to pass to keep up with Tigers' quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson’s defensive line can simply pin its ears back and charge after the quarterback. Tackle Bryan Bresee and end Xavier Thomas are finding health, furthering this impact.

Florida State does not have the defense to outright stop Uiagalelei, which should in time force the Seminoles to drop back in the pocket on the other side of the ball. With that opportunity, Clemson should knock FSU off schedule.

This game flow is how only Wake Forest’s dynamic offense has scored more than 20 points against the Tigers this season. Even last year, amid Clemson’s supposed downfall, it gave up more than 23 points just four times and never more than 27.

The Tigers’ demise was, so to say, greatly exaggerated. The defense never fell off. A bettered offense has underscored that this year, forcing opponents to play right into Clemson’s defensive strength.

This all may sound like backing the spread makes sense, but the line falling early in the week scares off this handicapper. Cowardly? Perhaps. But only to an extent.

Fading Florida State’s offense fits that original intention and this continued logic. The Seminoles could not score more than 21 against either Wake Forest or North Carolina State. Clemson’s defense is much better than both of those.

My best bet: Florida State team total Under 23.5 points (-108 at FanDuel)

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Clemson vs Florida State spread analysis

Let’s try to figure out why this fell from -6 to -3.5. For one thing, Seminoles left tackle Robert Scott Jr. started last week, his first action since mid-September. Defensive end Jared Verse has seen more and more action the last two weeks after missing a game\ in late September, racking up 3.5 tackles for loss in two games.

Seminoles' QB Jordan Travis has played well week-in and week-out, game-costing interception at North Carolina State aside.

Some of it may be a vague expectation that Clemson will take a week off, mentally speaking, between Top 20 opponents. The Tigers have No. 18 Syracuse visiting next week, maybe not the big name of a foe like Florida State, but a better one, nonetheless.

This line fell faster and further than expected, a spooky twist to the week. If anyone can nail down exactly why, they stand to come out ahead of the rest of us.

Clemson vs Florida State Over/Under analysis

Clemson’s offense was so bad in 2021, it has remained underrated in 2022. For all his flaws a year ago, Uiagalelei is now completing 63.9% of his passes with 7.7 yards per attempt. He may not be the next great quarterback, but he has become one to fear.

Few may be trusting him yet, but the cold hard fact is, the Tigers have scored this season. When it comes to pushing totals Over, their offense has upheld its end of the bargain.

Could Clemson push this game Over on its own? Perhaps, but that would likely require a defensive score or at least setting up the offense as it did twice in the season opener — pushing the Tigers to 41 points against Georgia Tech.

Most likely, Florida State will need to chip in to push this Over 50.5 points.

Clemson vs Florida State betting trend to know

Clemson is 6-1 ATS in its last seven conference games, including 3-1 this season. Find more NCAA betting trends for Clemson vs. Florida State.

LSU vs Florida game info

Location: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

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LSU vs Florida weather

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