Louisville Cardinals (2-3 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. No. 11 Florida State Seminoles (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday October 17th, 12:00PM EST
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LOU +7/FSU -7
Over/Under Total: 46
The Florida State Seminoles proved last week that they can pull out Houdini acts without former quarterback Jameis Winston. The Seminoles pulled out their 2nd straight close victory with a 29-24 defeat over rival Miami. This time the savior was running back Dalvin Cook who rushed for 222 yards and 3 total touchdowns to spur the 4th quarter comeback win. With each passing victory, it is apparent that Florida States collision course with Clemson on November 7th will likely be the game that determines the ACC. This week Florida State tries to remain unbeaten when they host the Louisville Cardinals inside Doak Campbell Stadium for an early noon kickoff.
The Cardinals won their 2nd straight game last week and also earned their first ACC victory of the season with a 20-13 victory over North Carolina State. The Cardinals had a rough 0-3 start to the season that featured 3 losses by a combined total of just 13 points. Those losses included some really sound football teams in Auburn, Houston, and Clemson as well. Therefore this Louisville team has been competitive all season and there is no reason to think Florida State will blow them out the water. In fact, the 7 point spread laid by the Seminoles is nearly the lowest margin they have been favorites all season, behind the 6.5 points they laid against Miami, which is a sign of respect to this Louisville football team.
So what exactly makes this Louisville team dangerous? Well several things including a very solid defense. The Cardinals rank 26th in total defense giving up just 323 yards per game and they have held opponents to just 20.2 points per game. In fact, this same defense held Clemsons dynamic offense to just 20 total points and North Carolina State to just 13 points last week. Florida State has relied pretty heavily on their rushing production this year to win football games. Seminoles quarterback Everette Golson has played pretty well but Jimbo Fisher has kept the ball on the ground mostly. I think this Louisville defense is good enough to play well against Florida States rushing attack led by Dalvin Cook (792 yards, 8 touchdowns) and if that is true they may force Golson into more passing situations than normal.
So far Louisville has been an excellent team for bettors. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games and 7-1 ATS in their last games on the road. Meanwhile Florida State is just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games at home. For that trend to stay alive this week, the Cardinals have to find a way to get more offensive production. The Cardinals offense has been pretty bad to say the least and Florida State has one of the more talented defenses in the conference. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is completing just 53% of his passing with 3 scores and 4 picks in a somewhat dead passing attack.
Instead Louisville has been forced to keep the ball on the ground most often. Jackson actually leads the team in rushing with 435 yards and 5 scores while running back Brandon Radcliff has rushed for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, I am not convinced that Louisville can win this game by running the football. Florida State ranks 25th against the run and that number is probably undermined due to the fact they have played offenses that focus mostly on running the football. Therefore for Louisville to win this game, they are going to have to try some things differently in hopes to pull out some big plays on the offensive side of the football.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really like the under in this game. Louisvilles defense should make things tough for Florida State while the same can be said to an even bigger degree for the Seminoles defense. Louisville has found the under mark in 4 of their last 6 games and I think that trend continues. Take the under 46 for a big play!
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