College Football Picks: #2 Florida State Seminoles at Miami Hurricanes
- Updated: November 12, 2014
Date/Time: November 15, 8:00 p.m. ET
College Football Betting Odds From BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread: Florida State -1
If every line tells a story, the line for the Florida State vs. Miami game is telling quite an epic tale. The Seminoles are the smallest favorite that they have been since their Champs Sports Bowl appearance in 2011 and the way the line is trending, the Seminoles could be a pick ‘em or even a slight underdog at midweek. The Miami Hurricanes are no doubt focused on this game, with a lot of Florida players that battled against each other in high school and were likely recruited by both schools. It has the makings of a tremendous atmosphere when the Seminoles enter Sun Life Stadium as a small favorite.
After navigating through a tricky Thursday night game at Louisville that saw Florida State trail at half by a 21-7 margin, the Seminoles dispatched of Virginia prior to this week’s big matchup. Miami was soundly beaten 41-14 in Tallahassee last season and the Seminoles outgained the Canes by a 517-275 margin. Jameis Winston isn’t having the same type of season, with plenty of issues off the field and no running game to help out on the field. The Seminoles have averaged better than 200 yards per game rushing in each of the last two seasons, but they rank 104th out of 128 teams in rushing yards per game this season. Winston’s arm has led the offense, but his 11 interceptions are getting to be a major concern.
The offense has regressed from last season’s unbelievable pace and the defense has done the same. After allowing just 12.1 points per game last season, the Seminoles have given up 22.4 points per game this season. Winston has already exceeded last season’s interception total, which has led to some short fields, but the Seminoles have allowed 22 points per conference game, after beating opponents by a 51-12 margin in conference play last season.
The Miami Hurricanes need a win like this. They have beaten just three ranked teams since a 2009 win over Oklahoma and none of them were ranked higher than 17th. They seem to be getting hot at the right time to really make this a game, with three straight victories and an average of 44 points per game. Redshirt freshman Brad Kaaya has done a tremendous job given all of the uncertainty that surrounded the quarterback position before the season. He’s posted a 20/9 TD/INT ratio with a 62 percent completion percentage. The bus driver for the offense is Duke Johnson, who is having another spectacular season. Johnson has averaged 7.7 yards per carry and has exceeded 1,100 yards already.
The defense is the area of concern for the Hurricanes entering this game. They have been plagued by inconsistency in each of Al Golden’s four seasons as the head coach. This season, they’ve held opponents to 21.9 points per game, but they have also had some terrible games as well. They allowed 41 points to Nebraska and 31 points to Louisville to open the season, though turnovers were mostly to blame in that game. This will be their biggest test to date and they have a knack for falling flat in big games like this under Golden.
Jimbo Fisher has won a national championship and three double-digit win seasons with a fourth on tap this season since taking over for Bobby Bowden in 2010. Overall, Fisher is 54-10, with the Seminoles on a 25-game winning streak. The Seminoles are just 2-7 against the number this season and are now 33-29-1 against the spread under Fisher thanks to a game that was called early in 2012. Al Golden is 28-18 straight up and 25-21 against the spread at Miami.
Free College Football Pick: Florida State Seminoles
As much as the line move is scary and so it the line itself, it’s hard to trust Al Golden to win a huge game like this with the track record that he has. The Seminoles are by no means a perfect team and may get blasted if they make it to the College Football Playoff, but this is a conference game that they should be able to handle against a quarterback making the biggest start of his career.
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