NCAA Football: Florida State Seminoles vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/18/2021

by James Q

NCAA Football: Florida State Seminoles vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/18/2021

Game Time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, September 18th, 2021 
Venue: Truist Field,  Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Where to Watch: ESPN

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread:  Wake Forest -4.5 :  O/U: 61.5
BetMGM:  Spread:  Wake Forest -5.5 :  O/U:  61.5
Caesars:  Spread: Wake Forest -5 :  O/U: 61.5

Season Record

Florida State: 0-2 (ACC)
Wake Forest: 2-0 (ACC)



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Florida State vs Wake Forest Preview and Analysis

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Florida State played Notre Dame tough.  They hung in the game til the overtime period decided the last play. The Semilnoles lost a close one 41-38.  Both teams took a deep breath and FSU was relieved to know that the next opponent would be cake-walk Jacksonville State.  Then the offense only put up 17 points against Jacksonville State… which would be fine in a win… but they lost 20-17… again by less than a touchdown.  1 Over / 1 Under.

Wake Forest has been cruising.  They were on the winning side of two blowouts.  They beat Old Dominion 42-10 and the Norfolk State Spartans 41-16.  They did the right thing and opened the season with two absolute cupcakes.  They took the Varsity vs JV scrimmage seriously and landed a winning record.  Only now they have a conference matchup coming against Florida State and we have to compare apples to oranges.  Neither of Wake Forest’s opponents so far would have covered a 20 point spread let alone come within a field goal of beating Notre Dame.   

Offensive Analysis 

"It's embarrassing," said Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton "We've got to own that. That's who we are. We lost to Jacksonville State. We're 0-2, so all we can do is look forward." he continued. The Seminoles had 11 penalties for 114 yards.  Milton went 18-31, 133 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT… RB Jashaun Corbin had 15 carries 109 yards and 1 TD for a productive day… but remember those penalties… 5 yards less than FSU gave up in penalties.  WR Darion Williamson had 3 receptions for 32 yards.  The offense struggled in a way they didn’t against Notre Dame.  They need to shore up the penalties and mistakes and take a closer look at who is under center going forward.

Wake Forest is flying high with quarterback Sam Hartman at QB, he is flaunting a QB rating of 162.5… if he keeps this up he could be the next New York Giants quarterback.  WF has a flashy 41.5 points per game average, they balance the passing with a solid running attack that nets 220 yards per game behind guys like Christian Beal-Smith, Christian Turner, Justice Ellison, Ahmani Marshall… all guys who will get you 4 or better yards per rush.  The big question is what happens to these stats when they play real competition?  Is Florida State even real competition after losing to Jacksonville State? 



Defensive Analysis

Florida State’s defense went with the pass rush instead of playing prevent defense in the final seconds against Jacksonville state.  They didn’t get a sack, instead a Jacksonville State receiver slipped behind the coverage and caught a walk-in, walk-off game-winning touchdown pass.

Wake Forest has a seemingly stout, hard-nosed defense.  They keep winning in blow-out right?  No, they are tied for 45th in college football defensive rankings with Western Michigan.  Why not higher?  Because they have given up 608 yards in 2 games, an average of 4.14 yards per play.  That’s not great, especially against the easy teams they have played in the first two games.  What has helped them win games is the 3 defensive TD’s on turnovers.  A team that gives up 304 yards in per game and keeps winning in blowouts is going to struggle mightily against full size programs in conference.  



Seminoles vs Demon Deacons Prediction 

Our prediction for Saturday, September 18th is… Florida State 17 - Wake Forest 10.

This is an upset pick with an Under, it’s based entirely on the quality of competition.  Jacksonville State is better than both programs Wake Forest has beaten so far… and Florida State hung in there against Notre Dame to beat the spread and finish within 3 points.  Florida State will recover and Wake Forest might as well consider this theri real first game. 


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NCAAF Betting Trends

The Seminoles are scoring 27.5 points per game.
The Seminoles are 1-1 ATS.  The time they didn’t cover the spread was also a moneyline loss.
Wake Forest has gone Over in every game so far.
Wake Forest is 1-1 ATS.


Key Injuries

none reported

Players to Watch

FSU:  Keyshawn Helton.  For this team to win the much-hyped receiver will have to do better than 4 receptions for 53 yards over 2 games.  If he gets separation he makes it easier on everyone else.

Wake:  Christian Beal-Smith needs to take the burden of this game on his shoulders.  As the most reliable offensive player on the squad he has to find another gear in the ACC.


Notable Quotes

"totally unacceptable." - Florida State coach Mike Norvell.  About the loss to Jacksonville State.  It was the Seminoles first loss to an FCS school since the FBS and FCS split in 1978.  They used to be 26-0, no longer.

"I apologize to our fan base, to our university, to all Seminoles for the performance we had," -Mike Norvell with more.  

"I take ownership of it,”  more from Mike Norvell.  There is a lot more like this, but you get the point.

Starting Lineups

Florida State:  QB Jordan Travis, RB Jashaun Corbin, TB Lawrance Toafili, WR Keyshawn Helton, WR Ontaria Wilson, WR Andrew Parchment, TE Cameron McDonald

Wake Forest:  QB Sam Hartman, RB Christian Beal-Smith, WR Jaquarii Roberson, WR A.T Perry, WR Taylor Morin, TE Brandon Chapman


Statistical Leaders

Florida State:
Passing:  McKenzie Milton 181 yards
Rushing:   Jashaun Corbin  253 yards
Receiving:  Ja’Khi Douglas  80 yards

Wake Forest: 
Passing:  Sam Hartman  432 yards
Rushing:  Christian Beal -Smith 134 yards
Passing Jaquarii Roberson  143 yards


Florida State: Mike Norvell
Wake Forest:  Dave Clawson


Weather Forecast 

Partly Cloudy.  high of 85*.  Humidity 67%.  You can enjoy the balmy weather in a place that is the name of two different cigarettes.


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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