College Football Picks: Florida State at Boston College Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 11/1/2011
Well, I already miss those Pac-12 matchups on the Thursday night ESPN telecast as I fared well in those for nearly a month but not well at all in last week’s ACC game between Virginia and Miami (Fla.) – the first of four straight Thursday night national TV games involving matchups from that conference.
I would have bet anything that UM at worst would win the game straight up, but they were upset at home by the Cavs as 13.5-point favorites and the total went one stinking point ‘over’ when I recommended the ‘under’.
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Let’s do better this week with another unranked matchup between Florida State and Boston College.
Florida State at Boston College Betting Storylines
The Eagles (2-6, 1-4 ACC) are having a lousy season, and there are rumblings that Head Coach Frank Spaziani could be in some trouble because this program has gone backward each season under him.
BC got its first conference win of this season on Saturday, 28-14 over Maryland. Certainly losing star running back and all-time ACC rushing leader Montel Harris hasn’t helped the Eagles’ cause this year. But his replacement, Rolandan Fitch, rushed 39 times for 243 yards (and two TDs) against the Terps, the most by an ACC back since 2009.
But that BC offense is terrible, ranking near the bottom of the FBS in total yards, passing yards and scoring offense. There’s really no chance that BC wins out to get bowl eligible – its only other victory is against FCS neighbor UMass.
If there’s one reason to watch BC, it’s linebacker Luke Keuchly. He led the nation last year in tackles and already has 130 this season, which also leads the country by a wide margin.
Florida State was in the preseason Top 10 of every major poll, but its season was torpedoed when top-ranked Oklahoma came to Tallahassee on Sept. 17 and won, 23-13. It’s not so much that FSU lost that game, but that starting QB E.J. Manuel (and others) was hurt in the game and left early. He missed the next game, a loss to Clemson, and didn’t start the following week, either, a loss to Wake Forest.
Manuel had a total of four picks vs. OU and Wake and a total of four in every other game he’s played. FSU (5-3, 3-2) is technically still alive in the Atlantic Division but would need a ton of help because of those losses to Clemson and Wake, the two teams above the Noles.
FSU enters on a three-game winning streak, including a 34-0 whitewash of NC State on Saturday, since Manuel has been back starting. They’ve outscored those opponents by a combined 116-32 and the Seminoles have scored 30 points or more in every game this year but against Oklahoma.
Manuel has thrown for more than 240 yards in each of the past three wins, and FSU has run for more than 200 in two of the past three. They ran for 123 yards against NC State, but Manuel threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns.
Manuel might get a top target back as freshman WR Rashad Greene (26 catches, 457 yards, six TDs) seems likely to play after missing the past three games with an ankle injury.
FSU is No. 3 in the country in sacks, No. 6 in tackles for loss, No. 4 in rushing defense, No. 8 in total defense and No. 12 in scoring defense. Not sure how BC will score on that unit.
In a scheduling oddity, this will mark the sixth straight season that the Seminoles are on the road for a Thursday game. But it will also be the first time since 2007 that they are playing without the benefit of a bye week before it.
FSU is 6-5 all-time in Thursday night affairs, but has hosted only one of those, way back in 2002. The Noles have covered in just one of their past seven Thursday games.
Florida State at Boston College Betting Odds and Trends
FSU is a 14.5-point favorite with the total at 44, according to college football odds. The lean is about 65 percent on the Noles. FSU is 4-4 ATS overall and 1-2 on road. BC is 3-5 ATS overall and 1-3 at home.
The Eagles are 2-10 ATS in past 12 at home, but 6-2 ATS in past eight as a home dog. The ‘under’ is 4-1 in FSU’s past five as a road favorite. It is 5-1 in BC’s past six at home. The underdog has covered in the past five meetings.
College Football Picks: Florida State at Boston College Betting Predictions
Needless to say, it will be rather chilly at kickoff in Chestnut Hill, and that would seem to favor BC, which relies much more on a conservative, running offense. That usually is more-suited to cold weather.
I would also argue that the quick turnaround, as always, benefits the home team.
I also am not overly impressed with the teams FSU has beaten during the winning streak: Duke, Maryland and NC State, with the latter two coming in Tallahassee. And the Wolfpack are the only FBS team FSU has beaten this season that had a winning record at the time.
BC is just one of those teams that always tends to play the Seminoles close. FSU won last year only 24-19 even though the Seminoles were at home (and had four turnovers) and ranked No. 16, while BC was 2-3 and winless in the ACC at the time.
The Eagles had won the previous two seasons. That extra point could be huge on the side, so I’m taking BC because I think at worst it can stay within two touchdowns. I also like the ‘under’.
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