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College Football Predictions: Miami at Florida State Odds and Picks
by - 10/30/2013

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Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston

I have spent much of this season being skeptical about this Florida State squad. On paper they were impressive, but Jimbo Fisher and company have been masters of not quite being what they should be. At this point, though, being skeptical would just be ridiculous. Beating Clemson on the road would have been impressive no matter how it happen. The fact that it was a total massacre, though, shattered all but the most stubborn skepticism.

This team has scored at least 41 points in all seven games they have played and at least 48 in all but one. Meanwhile, they have allowed more than 17 points just once. Their defense is tops in the country against the pass and eighth in total yards. Their offense is fourth in total yards — with a redshirt freshman quarterback. This team is absolutely ferocious. Their biggest problem in recent years has been losing games they shouldn’t. This is their toughest game remaining — and with all due respect to Florida, it is the toughest by a wide margin. If they pass this test then an undefeated season, and quite possibly a shot at a national title, is within their sights.

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Miami is unbeaten and impressive as well, though not nearly as impressive as their opponent. The difference is that this is where many thought Florida State would be, while Miami is ahead of the expectations of many. The Hurricanes haven’t played a particularly challenging schedule, though — beating Florida is their only impressive accomplishment. They are gutting games out instead of dominating as well — the last two wins have been by four and three points. Miami needs to play absolutely their best possible game here to win — and even still they would need some help from Florida State. The Seminoles, on the other hand, could likely play below their best and still win. The first question handicappers need to address, then, is whether they feel confident that the Seminoles will show up and be ready for action. If you do, then the question isn’t whether they can win, but if they will win by enough.

Miami at Florida State Betting Storylines

Florida State’s redshirt freshman QB Jameis Winston plays like a guy who is 30 and has been in the NFL for years. His numbers are just staggering — he is second in the country in yards per attempt, yards per completion and passer rating, third in touchdown passes, and tops in ratio of touchdowns to passes thrown. He’s still inexperienced, though, and Miami is going to have to find a way to do something which no other has team has been able to do if they want to beat him — they need to rattle him. It sounds simple enough, but the fundamental problem the Hurricanes have in this one is that they probably can’t do that. Their defense is adequate but far from outstanding — and it hasn’t been tested by anything even remotely assembling this offense they will face. When you see a team ranked seventh in the country with an undefeated record at this point in the season, you might assume that they would have some ferocious elements defensively, but that’s not reliably the case.

If Miami wants to have any chance at all, they need to establish the run early and often. Duke Johnson is their best player, and he needs to be a difference-maker here — especially because QB Stephen Morris is facing limits on his mobility because of a lingering ankle injury. There is at least a glimmer of hope here. While Florida State is tops in the country against the pass, they are just 29th against the run, giving up more than 135 yards per game. Of course, the biggest reason for that is that teams give up on the pass early because they aren’t getting anywhere against the ferocious secondary. From a betting perspective, the best hope is that Miami can establish the run adequately enough to slow down the game so that Florida State has less time to score their inevitable points.
 
Miami at Florida State Odds and Betting Trends

The game opened in some spots with the Seminoles favored by 21 points but quickly went up to 22 points. Just think about that for a second — being spotted three touchdowns wasn’t enough for the seventh-ranked team in the country. Amazing. Action is essentially split between the two squads, with a slight edge to the Hurricanes at this price. The total sits at 61.

The underdog is an impressive 11-0 ATS in the last 11 meetings between these foes. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven games. Miami is 5-1 ATS in their last six games at Florida State. Miami is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 conference games. Florida State has gone “over” the total in their last five conference games.

College Football Predictions: Miami at Florida State Betting Picks

This is a preposterous situation from a betting perspective. Miami is by all measures a decent team, and they are highly-ranked, but I can’t justify backing them in my own mind — even when getting more than three touchdowns to do so. There is a chance they could keep this close, but they have been far from dominant, and that absolute destruction at Clemson by Florida State is all I can think about here. Florida State is the play.

Doc’s Sports has been a leader in college football handicapping for more than four decades, and we are offering new clients $60 in free college football picks from Doc’s Sports or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choosing.  Click here to get your no-obligation $60 in picks now.

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