Florida State brought a complete performance against the Demon Deacons Saturday afternoon, and our picks followed suit. A bounce-back 2/3 week after an 0 for 6 slump brings the annual total to 13-24, hovering just over 54%. The Seminoles are on the road again this week for the second leg of their two-game road trip in chilly Pittsburgh. Our picks will look to stay hot as the air cools and the calendars flip to November.
Mike Norvell mentioned all week that he wants his team to be playing their best at the end of the year, and the same is true for gambling.
Three picks. Three winners.
Here we go.
All lines are presented by DraftKings — as always, gamble at your own risk.
Jordan Travis O/U 284.5 Passing Yards
After a brief pit-stop, the Jordan Travis Heisman Campaign went full steam ahead last week against Wake Forest. In the middle of the season, Travis seemed to be dealing with some health issues, but that feels behind him now. A 400 total yard 4 touchdown performance placed No. 13 in the thick of the conversation, and he is starting to round into form.
Since the beginning of October, JT flipped a switch. In his last three games, he totaled 284, 268, and 359 passing yards on top of six passing touchdowns and just one interception. Mike Norvell decided to open up the playbook for his sixth-year starter, and the results speak for themselves. Even on another week where wide receiver depth could be in question, Travis is in complete control. No stat tells the story more than his completion percentage and yards per completion in the last two weeks. Against Duke, Travis threw for a 75% completion percentage for just under 10 yards per completion and followed that up with a 63% completion rate, throwing for over 16 yards per reception.
Obviously, Jordan Travis’ ascension has taken off, but he will go up against another solid defense this week against Pittsburgh. According to PFF, they are top 20 in the country in TFLs and produce multiple players with over a 75 in pass rush. While this may concern some QBs, Travis gained a new secret weapon this past week. The offensive line looks to be past their early season struggles for Florida State and put up their best performance of the season against Wake Forest. They communicated well, rotated eight players, and passed off pass rush stunts with ease. 4 out of the 5 starting offensive linemen recorded above-average pass rush grades, according to PFF, and remained healthy. Even with Pitt’s threat in its front seven, the Seminoles seem more than able to quell the pass rush and keep JT upright.
Mike Norvell mentioned earlier this week that his quarterback is “playing at an elite level,” I expect that to continue Saturday.
The pick: Over
Konata Mumpfield O/U 49.5 Receiving Yards
Last week, we had Jahmal Banks under his receiving total, and we are going back to the well this week. The Florida State secondary’s focus level has jacked up since the bye, and they are playing as elite as any unit on this team.
Fentrell Cypress and Renardo Green each took their licks to start the season. They are dominating now. Green faced eight targets last week and only allowed two to be completed, while Cypress only faced a test twice, not allowing a catch. These two use their length, knowledge of the game, and athleticism to allow opposing pass-catchers no room. They stay in coverage as long as needed to let the pass rush get home and reap the benefits of rushing quarterbacks. Since the bye, Renardo Green has had higher than a 63 pass coverage grade, according to PFF, and played the most snaps out of any corner on the team. His running mate, Fentrell Cypress, also tied Green last weekend and snaps, put up a ridiculous pass coverage grade of 86.1 against Duke and followed that up with a respectable 68.0 against Wake Forest. Adam Fuller said his corners are great “listeners” during his press conference, and they are letting their play do the talking.
Mumpfield has a lot of things going against him in this game. The grass will make it harder to run, the weather makes it harder to catch, and his QB threw four INTs last game. Phil Jurkovec was not the answer under center for the Panthers, but I’m not sure Christian Veilleux is either. The sophomore QB has not played in a game where he threw for over 63% completion percentage and looked over match against an elite Notre Dame defense last week. Adding on to that, the Pitt offensive line is one of the worst in the country, with only one starter grading above average in run blocking or pass blocking. Mumpfield may not have many opportunities for catchable passes.
The pick: Under
Florida State vs. Pitt -21.5
This line moved a whole point throughout the week, and I still feel absolutely comfortable with it. These are two teams going in different directions. During October, the Florida State margin of victory ballooned to an astounding +25. Pitt just the opposite with a -55, although that does factor in the 51-point drubbing the Panthers took last week at Notre Dame. Either way, the Seminoles are looking for something greater this year. They jumped out to a double-digit first-half lead in 3 out of their last four games and are trying to get in and out of Pennsylvania as fast as possible. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh had to answer questions this week about a comment from their head coach, basically saying he had an awful team.
The other reason I feel so comfortable with this bet was the FSU play calling when the backups went in. Mike Norvell did not have an issue letting Tate Rodemaker grip it and rip it, throwing a dart to Darion Williamson with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter with the game out of reach. Mike Norvell mentioned during his press conference that some of his favorite moments of the game are seeing his young players in action, and he will never take a notch down in intensity, no matter the score.
Florida State looks to have matured past playing down to their competition and should handle business against the Panthers.
The pick: FSU -21.5
There you go, friends, three picks, three winners; everyone enjoy Saturday afternoon!
Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: How to watch
Saturday, November 4th
Seminoles Radio Network, SiriusXM RADIO FSU Broadcast: CH. 136 or 193
» Florida State plays its final ACC road game this week, traveling to Pittsburgh to take on Pitt. The Seminoles are 8-0 this season and 6-0 in the ACC, both their best marks since 2014, after a 41-16 win at Wake Forest last week.
» Florida State is No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press poll. It is the ninth consecutive week FSU has been ranked in the top-5, the program’s longest streak since 2013-14 when Florida State was in the top-5 for 27 consecutive polls. » The win over Wake Forest extended the Seminoles’ winning streak to 14 games, the longest active streak in the ACC and 3rd-longest active streak in the country. During its streak, which is also tied for the 6th-longest in program history, Florida State has outscored its opponents 585-255.
» FSU has scored at least 30 points in 14 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation and the 2nd-longest streak in ACC history, trailing only FSU’s 17 consecutive games from 2012-14.
» The Seminoles boast one of the nation’s best pass defenses, leading the country in both fewest passing touchdowns allowed (3) and opponent completion percentage (49.4) and ranking 5th in opponent passer rating (101.59). » FSU is the only team in the nation forcing more incompletions than completions allowed. The last time a P5 team held its opponents below 50 percent completions in a season was 2018, when Michigan and LSU posted marks of 49.5 and 49.7 percent, respectively. » Florida State was the only team in the country that did not allow a passing touchdown in October, and the Seminoles led the nation in opponent completion percentage (41.7), yards per pass allowed (4.2) and opponent passer rating (72.41) in October while also producing the ACC’s best scoring defense (14.0) that ranked 10th nationally. » FSU has held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 140 passing yards, the longest streak by the Seminoles since 1999 and the longest by an ACC team since Boston College in 2021 (via ESPN Stats & Info).
» Florida State leads the ACC and ranks 11th in the country in red zone offense, converting 93.9 percent of red zone drives into points, and its 24 red zone touchdowns are 2nd in the conference. FSU also ranks 16th nationally in red zone defense, allowing points on just 73.1 percent of opponents’ drives that reach the 20-yard line.
» The Seminoles are one of nine teams nationally to have a receiver and a rusher with a three-touchdown game this season. Keon Coleman caught a career-high three scores vs. No. 5 LSU, and Trey Benson tied his single-game careerhigh with three rushing scores vs. Southern Miss. Coleman is one of 25 receivers nationally with a three-touchdown game this year, and Benson is one of 58 players with three rushing scores in a game.
» Florida State’s defense has faced 49 plays inside their 10-yard line this season and allowed just 11 touchdowns. In the 45-24 win over No. 5 LSU, the Seminoles faced 10 snaps inside their own 5-yard line and allowed only two scores. On LSU’s first drive of the game, the Tigers had six plays inside the five-yard line, including four snaps from the 1-yard line, and the FSU defense forced a turnover on downs with a 13-yard sack on 4th-and- 1. During FSU’s three-game homestand the defense faced only 10 total snaps inside its 10-yard line and allowed one touchdown. Syracuse did not have a snap inside the 10-yard line and took only one snap inside FSU’s 15-yard line.
» Mike Norvell is 20-5 (.800) in November as a head coach, including 11-2 (.846) on the road.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.