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Florida State vs. Boston College Thursday Night Football Pick with Analysis

11/6/11

Florida State heads north to take on Boston College in what will be the marquee Thursday night game this week in a week where we have 3 games in all Thursday night. Florida State is a hefty -14.5 road favorite in this spot with a posted total of 48.

On the surface, at first glance, there's not much to suggest that Boston College can stay with the Seminoles here. This is a Florida State defense that ranks 12th in the nation in points allowed going up against a Boston College offense that ranks near the bottom in the nation. Boston College was soundly beaten by the best teams they played including a 36-14 loss to Clemson and 30-14 loss to Virginia Tech. They even lost to Duke, 20-19 and Central Florida 30-3. Their only other win other than last week against Maryland came against UMASS.

Meanwhile, Florida State waxed Duke 41-16, went toe to toe with Clemson, losing 35-30 and Oklahoma losing 23-13. Florida State needs one more win to become bowl eligible and the rest of their dance card isn't exactly easy with Miami Florida, Virginia and Florida on deck.

It would be very difficult to make a strong case here for Boston College to pull the upset. But, covering the two touchdowns may not be impossible. Stranger things have happened. In recent years, BC has played very well against the Seminoles. Last year they led 19-17 in the 4th quarter before Florida State went ahead and held on, 24-19. In 2009, they beat Florida State 28-21 and also won 27-17 in 2008. It's been far from a mismatch. To support the BC argument further, the yards per point numbers for these two teams are almost identical, which is rare to see in a game where one side is favored by two TD's.

Our model has this one right on the number as it predicts a 30-15 Florida State win. A case can certainly be made either way here as far as who will cover. Even if you go with the model here, it shows that the back door is always open for a BC cover. Playing at home on Thursday Night football can't hurt either. But we'd be very leery in backing the Eagles here as they simply haven't shown that they can compete with good teams as their 14 point offensive showings against Clemson and Virginia Tech showed. Florida State is in the same class as those two.

This is a pass for us, with a lean towards the better team, Florida State -14.5. No opinion on the total and watch that backdoor if you do play FSU!

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