I’m officially declaring this “take the points week” here on… umm… Take the Points. A lot of teams have huge games coming up next week. Others are matched up against teams that always play them tough. Whatever the reasons, I like many of the underdogs to cover. Here are my week 5 picks.
North Carolina State +19 over Florida State
Florida State showed resolved winning over Clemson without Jameis Winston. Watching Sean Maguire take the reigns was rough; it was like seeing a kid take drivers’ ed for the first time, except in football you don’t have a 65-year old chain smoker who can hit the brake pedal from the passenger side. Let’s not kid ourselves, though: this team has issues that reach beyond a nervous backup QB. The offense isn’t nearly as dynamic as in 2013. I think the loss of Kelvin Benjamin to the NFL has played a much bigger role than we could’ve imagined. Although the Noles have a couple decent receivers, Benjamin was always Winston’s go-to guy last year, as evidenced by the final drive of the National Championship Game. The O-line has also struggled somewhat, and the defense appears to have taken a slight step backward this season. If this was a night game, I’d say look out for an upset — NC State always causes trouble for FSU at night — but since it’s a 3:30 game, I’ll only go as far as to say take the points. And no, NC State is not good, but that’s never stopped them from surprising FSU before. (more…)