The Fighting Irish are ready to move on without former quarterback Ian Book and will start a familiar face in Jack Coan, who played for Wisconsin in 2019 and threw for over 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Florida State, meanwhile, will hope that head coach Mike Norvell can get the Seminoles back to an elite level but it's going to be hard without a listed quarterback. Despite one of Jordan Travis or McKenzie Milton not expected to be named the starter until near kickoff, college football betting lines have held strong on the spread, although the total dropped 1-1.5 points at most books on Sunday morning.
When a 'Noles QB is finally announced, we might see some more college football odds movement, but we’ll break down scenarios on both quarterbacks to cover our bases.
Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Notre Dame vs. Florida State on September 5, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Notre Dame vs Florida State game info
• Location: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
• Date: Sunday, September 5, 2021
• Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ABC
Notre Dame vs Florida State odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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Notre Dame vs Florida State betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
Notre Dame: Kevin Austin Jr. WR (Probable), Marist Liufau LB (Out).
Florida State: None.
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Notre Dame is 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games as a road favorite of 3.5-10 points. Find more NCAA betting trends for Notre Dame vs. Florida State.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
Notre Dame lost Book and 13 other players that went to the NFL. That’s going to be a lot to recover from but just like all good teams, Notre Dame always finds a way to produce new talent each and every year.
The Fighting Irish will return Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree at running back. Both of these halfbacks ran for over 1,500 yards combined and scored 17 touchdowns as a duo last season and provide Notre Dame with might be the best running back tandem in college football. They’ll be joined by Coan, who threw for 2,727 yards in 2019 with 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He makes solid decisions with the ball, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes in 2019.
Defensively, Notre Dame has always played exceptionally well. Last season, the Fighting Irish allowed 19.7 points per game along with only 5.56 yards per play. But at this time, the Notre Dame defense doesn’t know which Florida State quarterback to study.
Florida State will either send out last year’s quarterback in sophomore Jordan Travis or UCF transfer McKenzie Milton, a senior. Most believe it’ll be Milton getting the start since Travis had a completion percentage of just 55 percent last year. Travis threw six interceptions and was sacked 12 times but is a very capable runner. He could still be used to some degree even with Milton being the starter. Travis ran for 559 yards last season and seven touchdowns, and had more TDs on the ground than passing.
Milton, meanwhile, hasn’t played in an actual football game since 2018 as a result of a right knee injury he suffered with UCF. All talk is that he’s healthy now and ready to give football one last hurrah. He was a stud for UCF back in the day but it really has been three years since he’s played. Florida State is either getting a true veteran in Milton or a washed-up player who forgot how to do all the little things on the field.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding Florida State, I like Notre Dame to cover the spread here and win by multiple scores. I’m not ready to back Florida State’s defense no matter how much better the offense is this season.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame -7.5 (-105)
Team total pick
I truly believe Florida State’s offense will improve this year with Milton under center and Travis used in packages. Still, it’s hard to trust any offense against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish always seem to get big-time stops in the clutch and that should be no different in this game.
It’ll be a fun game, nonetheless. We’re getting two veteran transfer quarterbacks that have played in big games previously and know how to win and point up points. But only one offense is lucky enough to go up against a bad defense. That’s Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish will put up points and score at least 35.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame Over 33.5 (-120)
Notre Dame vs Florida State betting card
- Notre Dame -7.5 (-105)
- Notre Dame Over 33.5 (-120)
Picks made on 9/1/2021 at 6:35 p.m. ET
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