Florida State vs Clemson Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Shipley Ensures Smooth Sailing vs Seminoles

Florida State will try to survive "Death Valley" when they visit Clemson on Saturday, but Tigers tailback Will Shipley should be a nightmare for the Seminoles to stop, per our college football betting picks.

Rob Paul - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rob Paul • Betting Analyst
Sep 23, 2023 • 07:48 ET • 4 min read

It’s a fistfight between the two blue-blood football programs of the ACC with Florida State walking into Memorial Stadium ranked No. 4 in the country to take on Clemson.

With so many big-time games on Saturday, the college football odds say this is the one to watch with the undefeated Seminoles just 2-point favorites, by far the smallest spread of the premier games this weekend. 

This is poised to be a close one with Florida State coming off a close call against a lowly Boston College program, and Clemson seemingly getting its act together on offense after its season-opening loss to Duke.

Find out where my best bets lie in our free college football picks and predictions for Florida State vs. Clemson on Saturday, September 23.

Florida State vs Clemson best odds

Florida State vs Clemson picks and predictions

The last time the Seminoles defeated the Tigers was 2014, when Jameis Winston was the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and led Florida State to a 23-17 OT win.

Since then, Clemson has won seven straight in the series, including a 34-28 victory last year where star running back Will Shipley totaled 169 yards from scrimmage.

Despite the Tigers’ Week 1 struggles on offense, mainly ill-timed turnovers against Duke, new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley seems to have helped Clemson find its mojo on offense again after the post-Trevor Lawrence fallout.

With Riley calling plays and the Clemson offensive line coming together, led by a trio of potential NFL Draft picks on the interior, Shipley is once again in position to put together a strong game.

Win or lose, Dabo Swinney and Riley understand that in the biggest moments, Shipley is the player they can rely on. That showed against Duke, where he was the only consistently effective Clemson player on offense with 143 yards from scrimmage and a score.

The Will Shipley odds of -110 to score a touchdown anytime look mighty appealing against a Florida State defense that ranks 113th in EPA per rush. The Seminoles have given up five rushing touchdowns compared to just two passing touchdowns in three games, so they’re susceptible on the ground.

Don’t let the fact that Shipley has just one touchdown in three games this year scare you off this. He scored in the opener against Duke, and in the following two games — blowouts against Charleston Southern and FAU — Clemson avoided overworking him to keep him fresh for games like this. 

Since he arrived on campus, Shipley has been a touchdown machine, scoring 27 of them in 27 games at the collegiate level, including at least one in 19 games.

The former blue-chip recruit has been the Tigers’ engine the last two seasons and the player they’ve leaned on when quarterback play is dicey. Clemson isn’t afraid to feed Shipley either with 460 touches in his career (17 per game), and he averages a touchdown on every 17 touches.

Even Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell knows Shipley is the key to what Clemson is trying to do on offense with his ability to impact the game as a physical between-the-tackles runner and a dynamic pass catcher.

"The versatility of Shipley is what makes him special,” Norvell said earlier this week. “We know we're gonna have to gear up and control him."

My best bet: Will Shipley anytime TD (-110 at bet365)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

Not intended for use in MA.
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Florida State vs Clemson same-game parlay

Will Shipley anytime TD

Over 55.5

Trey Benson Over 57.5 Rushing Yards

When Shipley scores a touchdown, Clemson has averaged 32 points per game, and this season the Tigers offense has averaged 40.3 per game. The Florida State offense is 15th in the country in EPA per play and is averaging 47.3 points per game, seventh-most in the country.

With the weapons on both of these offenses and the proven play-callers putting them in the best position to succeed, points should be coming in a big way in this one.

For the Seminoles, it’ll be interesting to see how Norvell and offensive coordinator Alex Atkins scheme things up to score on a Clemson defense that’s 11th in EPA per play. The matchup could result in Florida State going to their rushing attack a little more despite being 11th in EPA per pass this season and 41st in EPA per rush.

Clemson’s defense is littered with NFL talent and defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin has them ranked third in EPA per pass, but this unit is just 56th in EPA per rush. This could be a game in which Norvell and Atkins use workhouse back Trey Benson a little more after a quiet start to the season.

Since transferring from Oregon, Benson has topped 57.5 rushing yards 10 times in 16 games. In those 10 games, Florida State has averaged 43.8 points.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Florida State vs Clemson spread and Over/Under analysis

After most books opened with Florida State as 1-point road favorites, the line has continued to shift in their favor. The Seminoles are now listed between -1.5 and -2.5, depending on the book.

After upsetting LSU as 2-point underdogs in the opener, Florida State covered the 31-point spread against Southern Miss the following week, but beat Boston College by just two as 25-point road favorites.

Clemson, on the other hand, has gone the opposite direction by losing to Duke as 12-point favorites in the opener and beating Charleston Southern by 49 as 52-point favorites in their first two games. They finally covered last week as 25-point favorites against FAU.

As for the total, it opened between 55 and 55.5. While it jumped up to 56 temporarily, it’s come back down to that opening range at most sites.

Both of these teams are known to hit the game total Over, especially Clemson when they’re at home. Clemson has hit the game total Over in five of their last eight games at home (+1.70 Units / 19% ROI).

Florida State vs Clemson betting trend to know

Florida State has hit the Over in nine of its last 13 games (+4.60 Units / 32% ROI). Find more college football betting trends for Florida State vs Clemson.

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Florida State vs Clemson game info

Location: Memorial Stadium, Pickens County, SC
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET

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