Syracuse Orange (5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (9-0 SU, 7-2 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Saturday November 16th, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -38/SYR +38
Over/Under Total: 55
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The Florida State Seminoles appeared to be in the perfect letdown situation last week following their big College GameDay victory over Miami. Coach Jimbo Fisher’s group was on the road for an early noon kickoff against a defensively sound Wake Forest team. Yet the Seminoles responded with a 59-3 massacre over the Demon Deacons as they improved to 9-0 SU. Obviously Florida State has not given in to any letdown scenarios this season and it is safe to say that the Seminoles are playing the best football in the country right now. The Seminoles get the opportunity to keep the momentum going this Saturday when they host the Syracuse Orange inside Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles will enter Saturday’s contest as enormous 38 point favorites over Syracuse. However, the Orange has not exactly been a doormat this season as they are 5-4 SU and 6-3 against the number. Then again Florida State has made some of the top teams in the country look like doormats, just look at their 51-14 win over no. 3 Clemson. Additionally the Seminoles are 3-1 against the spread this season as 31 point favorites or more. Therefore the large number should be the least bit surprising to bettors.
Syracuse has a little momentum heading into Tallahassee having won two straight games over Maryland and Wake Forest. In fact, the Syracuse defense has given up just 3 points total in their last two games. That defensive play will be extremely important for Syracuse to keep things close this week as the Seminoles average 52 points (2nd in FBS) per game. Offensively, Syracuse has not been very impressive this season ranking 89th in scoring averaging just 24.6 points per game. Perhaps what is even worse is the way the offense matches up this week. The Orange has been horrible in the passing game tossing 15 interceptions to just 10 touchdowns. QB Terrel Hunt has taken over the starting job behind center but he has still been very inconsistent by completing just 57% passing on the year.
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The only consistent success Syracuse has had this year on offense comes from the legs of running back Jerome Smith who has 704 yards and 10 touchdowns. Syracuse characteristics on offense are very similar to Wake Forest as they both have extremely poor quarterback play rely on the running game to move the football. The problem is that Florida State has one of the best defenses in the country against the run and knows how to put quarterbacks in bad situations. The Seminoles forced 7 turnovers against the Demon Deacons in route to a blowout victory and it will be interesting to see if Syracuse has similar struggles with their offense this Saturday.
Of course Florida State has perhaps the most offensive talent in the country. Not only do the Seminoles have a healthy stable of running backs that have contributed towards 29 rushing touchdowns, but the offense also has rights to the best player in the country in quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston is on track to become the first Florida State Heisman Trophy winner since former quarterback Chris Weinke. Winston has been superb completing 70% passing for 2,661 yards with 26 touchdowns and 7 picks. Winston was not needed much in last week’s big win over Wake Forest thanks to the defense scoring multiple touchdowns and getting plenty of support from the ground game. If Florida State does not get those extra touchdowns, Winston may need to throw a few scores if the Seminoles are going to win and cover the 38 point spread.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I do not see how you can bet against the Seminoles until they give a reason to do anything different. Syracuse’s bad offense spells disaster for them in this game and I expect another Florida State routing in Tallahassee. No surprises here as the Seminoles keep rolling. Take Florida State -38
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