2011 Champs Sports Bowl Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Florida State Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 12/16/2011
The Champs Sports Bowl is overrated.
No. 25 Florida State will take on Notre Dame in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. The game kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29 in the Florida Citrus Bowl and features perhaps the two most overrated programs in college football over the last 10 years.
Notre Dame, which is the single most overrated entity in the sport, is just 2-6 against the spread in their last eight bowl games and is perpetually overrated by the general Irish-loving public. With a loss in this game the Irish will likely finish the season unranked for the fifth straight year.
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Florida State isn’t far behind. Each year the bobblehead media fawn over the Seminoles and predict a return to the glory years of the early 90s. FSU never delivers.
They have just two 10-win seasons in the last decade and haven’t been a real national player in longer than that. FSU has only finished in the Top 20 one time in the last five years.
Now these two teams will clash in Florida in a game that looks better on the marquee than I’m sure it will be between the lines.
Florida State is a team that started the year in the Top 10 and some people pegged as a dark horse National Championship contender. But a three-game losing streak, started by a tough 23-13 home loss to Oklahoma in mid-September, really submarined FSU’s season.
That said, the Seminoles have won six of seven entering this game, with the lone loss coming by just one point to Virginia. Quarterback E.J. Manuel has been banged up for most of this season but he is healthy and ready to lead an offense that averaged 31.7 points per game despite gaining just 375.8 yards per game (No. 74 in the country). FSU will also lean on the country’s No. 6 total defense and No. 4 scoring defense.
Notre Dame rebounded from an 0-2 start to the year to win eight of 10 games. Their only losses have been closer-than-the-final-looks losses to USC and Stanford and the Irish have both an offense (No. 34) and defense (No. 34) ranked in the Top 35 in the country.
Coach Brian Kelly has been under heavy scrutiny all season long for his handling of one of college football’s sacred cow programs. However, he is an excellent tactician and will be looking to take advantage of extra prep time leading up to this game.
Kelly and his Irish, as always, will enter this game with something to prove.
2011 Champs Sports Bowl College Football Odds
This line has held firm since its open of Florida State -3.0. The action is primarily coming down on the favorite, with 63 percent of all bets on the Seminoles. But the money obviously hasn’t been significant enough at most books to get them to move the game off of that key number.
Florida State is around -150 on the moneyline, according to college football odds, and Notre Dame is at +125 if you want to wager on them pulling the outright upset.
The total for this game is at 46.5. It has been bet down from an open of 48.0.
2011 Champs Sports Bowl Betting Trends
The Fighting Irish are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games as an underdog.
Notre Dame is 2-6 ATS in their last eight bowl games.
The Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last five nonconference games.
Notre Dame is 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games as an underdog.
The Seminoles are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games.
Florida State is 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games.
Seminoles are 5-1 ATS in their last six nonconference games.
Florida State is 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games in December.
Seminoles are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0.
Florida State is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite.
Seminoles are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
2011 Champs Sports Bowl Predictions
It is never a bad idea to play against Notre Dame. This team has been a flop in games like this against more athletic, more talented teams.
They struggled with South Florida and Michigan’s speed early in the season and I haven’t seen anything out of this group to make me think they can play at a high level.
But it is also tough to trust Florida State. They lost at the same Wake Forest team that Notre Dame beat and the Irish also won a very similar matchup last year when they took down Miami in the Sun Bowl as a two-point favorite.
I think that both offenses will benefit from the extra preparation time and I don’t think that either defense is anything special. I can see this one playing differently than the oddsmakers and their low total suggest and I think that this game will turn into a back-and-forth shootout in the second half.
2011 Champs Sports Bowl Free Pick: Take ‘Over’ 46.5 Florida State vs. Notre Dame
Robert Ferringo is a professional NFL handicapper and has been red hot over the last few weeks. He has earned over $3,600 for his clients since Nov. 27 and has notched two of three winning weeks. Robert has a 7-Unit College Bowl Game of the Year kicking off on Thursday, Dec. 22 and you can check him out here.
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