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Can anyone in the ACC stay with Florida State this year? The bookmakers don't think so. Coming off a three-game stretch of a combined score line of 163-31, the Seminoles are huge -21.5 point home favorites against fellow unbeaten Miami (FL) at 5 dimes sportsbook and betonline. Down from an opener of 22.
After Virginia Tech's recent loss to Duke, this matchup could easily end up being the ACC Championship game. In fact, unless there are some huge upsets, it will be. While the Seminoles continue to blow out everyone they face (including Clemson), the Hurricanes find themselves in a close game every week. Whether that's because they are looking ahead to this matchup or not, it doesn't matter. Almost losing to teams like North Carolina and Wake Forest this year is not what top teams do. Miami's best win of the season was over Florida and that doesn't look as great anymore as the Gators have fallen outside of the Top 25.
Everything will have to go in the Hurricanes favor to win this game. The Seminoles are one of the best teams in the nation, are coming off a bye and are at home. The best offense Miami has faced this year was Georgia Tech's, and they only run the ball. FSU has the whole package, scoring more than 50 points per game with a consistent running and passing game. Throw that in with a defense that held Clemson's offense to a mere 14 points, and there's not much these guys do wrong.
Miami's Stephen Morris will have to do something special to come within striking distance. According to ESPN's QBR system, Morris is having the best year of his career, but the raw stats don't exactly show that. He only has 10 TDs and eight interceptions through seven games this year. In the past two games, Morris has just one TD and four INTs. Those kinds of numbers will not cut it on the road at FSU. The 'Canes will likely run the ball as much as possible to keep Jameis Winston off the field. Duke Johnson leads the team with 823 yards and six TDs and he'll get a heavy dose. Johnson carried the ball 30 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns last weekend. If they can't run the ball, it's going to be a long night.
On the other side of the field, most people already know about Jameis Winston, who is one of the early Heisman candidates as a freshman. He's completing 70 percent of his passes for 2,177 yards, 23 TDs and just four INTs. He's got a slew of wide outs at his disposal with Rashad Greene (690 yards, eight TDs) and Kenny Shaw (574 yards, three TDs) leading the way. Devonta Freeman leads a respectable rushing unit with 561 yards and six TDs, but two other guys have at least 40 carries, not including Winston.
In last year's game in Miami, the Seminoles outgained the Hurricanes by almost 200 yards and ended up winning 33-20. Miami's leading rusher in that game was Duke Johnson, who only had 27 yards. That cannot happen again if they want to keep it close.
The Hurricanes are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 conference games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games. The Seminoles are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall. In this series, the underdog is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings, while the Hurricanes have covered six of the last seven times these teams have played in Tallahassee.
According to the betting trend stats at sportsbook.com, the action as of Tuesday afternoon is split 50/50 on this game. Balanced action. A rarity.
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