Florida State Seminoles vs. Louisville Cardinals Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (7-0 SU, 1-6 ATS) vs. Louisville Cardinals (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date and Time: Thursday October 29th, 2014. 7:30PM EST
Where: Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium Louisville, K.Y.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: FSU -6/LOU +6
Over/Under Total: TBA

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The 2nd ranked Florida State Seminoles return to action this week in what promises to be an exciting Thursday night affair against the Louisville Cardinals inside Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. The Seminoles enter this Thursdays contest still undefeated following a very close scare with Notre Dame two weeks ago. In fact, many would argue that a poor offensive pass interference call saved the Seminoles in that game as it called back the Fighting Irishs game winning touchdown. Love them or hate them, the fact remains that the Seminoles are still undefeated and their quest for a 2nd straight National Championship is still alive heading into this Thursday nights showdown with Louisville.

Despite all the off-field dilemmas surrounding star quarterback Jameis Winston and even the new issues this week with senior running back Karlos Williams, the Seminoles have been able to put the distractions to the side and keep winning football games. The defense has been solid holding opponents to just 21.6 points per game (29th in FBS). The offense has been even better scoring 37.9 points per game which ranks 19th in the FBS. If you throw out the 23-17 overtime win against Clemson where Winston did not play, the Seminoles have scored at least 31 points in every game with their reigning Heisman Trophy winning quarterback on the field.

On the season, Winston has hit 70% of his passes for 1,878 yards with 13 touchdowns and 6 picks to lead the Seminoles 14th ranked passing offense that has averaged 316 yards per game through the air. Along with Winston, wide receiver Rashad Greene has aided in the air assault. Greene leads the ACC with 791 receiving yards with 4 touchdowns. Greene has averaged 15.6 yards per catch while doubling the catches and yards totals of every other Seminoles receiver.

Since Florida States offense has relied heavily on the passing attack to move the football this season, it is imperative that Louisvilles defense gets pressure on Winston and puts extra help towards covering Rashad Greene. Luckily, the Cardinals defense has the talent to contend with Florida State. First year Coach Bobby Petrino is known for his offensive mind but he inherited a great defensive team whose foundation was laid back Charlie Strong. The Cardinals scoring defense ranks 4th in the FBS holding opponents to just 14.6 points per game. The Cardinals defense has not given up more than 23 points all season. In fact, the Cardinals gave up 23 points twice in both of their losses this season to Clemson and Virginia.

Therefore Louisvilles defense should give them the opportunity to contend this Thursday night especially if they can get some help from the offense. On paper, Louisville is not very impressive ranking 72nd in passing, 90th in rushing, and 58th in scoring. However, Louisvilles offense has a guy in sophomore quarterback Will Gardner that has some potential. Gardner has tossed 11 touchdowns with just 2 picks on the season and does a great job of protecting the football. As long as Gardner can continue to keep from turning over the football, this offense will have the opportunity to compete but they will need a few big plays to score the upset.

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I have had this game circled on my calendar for quite some time. I am not a believer in Florida State being a national power and their 1-6 mark ATS supports my theory. Louisvilles defense should be the most talented group the Seminoles have faced all season. If you look at the only two decent defenses (Clemson and Notre Dame) that Florida State has played, they have not looked very impressive. They were outgained 470-323 against Notre Dame and 407-313 against Clemson. I think Florida State was lucky to pull out wins in both of those games but the luck stops this week. Louisville on a Thursday night will be a recipe for an upset and the 6 points bring even more value into the picture. Take Louisville +6!

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