Free Expert NCAA Football Picks: Boston College Eagles at Florida State Seminoles Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 11/19/2014
Boston College Eagles at Florida State Seminoles, Saturday Nov. 22, 3:30 p.m. ET
If the Seminoles keep pulling these same tricks week after week, they are going to lose sooner or later. It's as if they don't leave their hotel until the second half begins, because time and time again they fall far behind early and look terrible. Each time, though, they have done enough to fight back and win without style points.
So, is Boston College the team that can finally take a lead and keep it? On the surface the 6-4 record doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, but there are a couple of reasons to have at least a little optimism. For starters, the Eagles are just 2-4 at home, which means that they are a perfect 4-0 on the road. They obviously haven't beat a team of this caliber in those four games, but a win at Virginia Tech was solid. The Eagles also played their best game of the season - by a wide margin - against the best opponent they have faced to date. They shocked USC at home in the third week of the season.
Boston College at Florida State Betting Storylines
Boston College is a long way from a good team, but the one thing that they can do reasonably well is run the ball. Their 264 yards per game ranks them 12th in the country. It's the only thing that makes their offense, such as it is, work. That strength is the one thing that could make the Eagles competitive here. Florida State is not a great team against the run. They have allowed just short of 140 yards per game on the ground, which is 36th in the country. They are 30th in the country for yards per carry as well.
The strength of the Boston College running game could help them thwart the prototypical Florida State comeback. By running the ball they can slow the game down, control the ball, and generally make it harder for the Seminoles. That assumes that they can get an early lead, though, and that is harder on the ground than through the air. They also face the problem that while their defense is elite against the run, it's barely average against the pass. Florida State does not run regularly as a rule, but they are among the better passing offenses in the country. It's not an ideal matchup for the Boston College defense, and it makes a Cinderella upset less likely as a result.
Boston College is coming off of their second bye week of the season heading into this one. Though the circumstances are different, there is enough similarity that looking back at last time could prove useful. Then, they lost to Colorado State at home as six-point favorites heading into the break. They regrouped nicely after the break, though, and beat N.C. State by 16 on the road as 2.5-point underdogs. This time they are coming off another rough home loss before the break - though they were underdogs to Louisville. It's not unreasonable, then, for us to expect them to be improved and prepared coming into this one.
One thing we can be sure of is that B.C. head coach Steve Addazio will have no trouble getting up for this one. Before starting his head coaching career at Temple in 2011 Addazio spent six years in roles of increasing responsibility at Florida, with his last two spent as offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer. As such he has plenty of experience both hating and beating Florida State. Unfortunately for him, this Eagles' team bears virtually no similarities - at least on a grand scale - with those Meyer squads, and Jimbo Fisher was only in charge of the Seminoles for their last meeting, so the direct lessons aren't there to draw on for Addazio.
Boston College Eagles at Florida State Seminoles NCAA Football Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Florida State favored by 19.5 points. That has fallen only slightly to 19 in early action. The total opened at 56 and slid up to 56.5 quickly.
The underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings between these squads. The Seminoles have gone "under" the total in their last six home games, while the Eagles have gone "over" the total in their last seven November games. The Eagles are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS loss.
Boston College Eagles at Florida State Seminoles College Football Predictions and Picks
It's important for handicappers to have a good deal of self-awareness to be successful. Without it they can't spot their own weaknesses and blind spots. Without it they risk falling into the same traps again and again. I have long hated the Seminoles, and that is especially true in the Winston era. As such I am not inclined to pick them in many spots. So take this with a big grain of salt, but I like the Eagles at this price. They are outclassed, but they have had time to get prepared and be creative for this one. If they can start strong and establish the run early then they have a chance to keep this one close enough to cover. Trusting the Seminoles to blow out any opponent is too much to ask right now.
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