Pick – Analysis
Some viewed this as the ACC title Game preview before the season, but that ship has sailed. Georgia Tech has fallen apart with five straight losses, and that run could easily continue against undefeated Florida State. The Seminoles were a -6.5 point road favorite on Tuesday at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
These teams battled in last year’s title Game, and actually, the last five meetings between them have been decided by a total of 17 points. However, this apparently is not the same Georgia Tech team that fell to FSU 37-35 last year. While the defense struggled, the Yellow Jackets ran through the Seminoles defense.
This year’s Tech team has faltered since falling at Notre Dame as a favorite last month. Their defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone as they have given up at least 30 points in all five of those losses. Even playing at home may not matter as the Jackets have lost their last two against lesser teams, UNC and Pitt.
Florida State maybe hasn’t looked as good as past versions, but the Seminoles are still undefeated and are coming off a great display against Louisville. The offensive combination of new quarterback Everett Golson and Heisman contending running back Dalvin Cook has been too much for ACC defenses. Cook should continue his success in this Game after compiling 955 yards and 10 TDs on the year, garnering 8.7 yards per carry. Golson has done what’s been asked of him and that’s all this team needs. While Golson was turnover-prone at Notre Dame, he has 11 TDs and zero interceptions through six Games this year.
Much like last year’s Game, Tech will have to keep up on the scoreboard. That hasn’t been as easy this year, though, as Justin Thomas has been forced to pass more with a weaker defense. Thomas is completing just 44.4% of his passes for 10 TDs and Four interceptions. That’s not exactly what this triple-option offense wants.
While FSU’s defense has been solid so far, they have always had problems against this offense, including last year when they allowed 331 rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets haven’t been as consistent this year, but it’s not like they aren’t moving the ball. Thomas is at just 3.3 yards per carry and Patrick Skov isn’t much better at 4.1 ypc. Marcus Marshall leads the team, but has only really had two good Games, and one of those was against Alcorn State.
It’s surprising this spread was less than a touchdown considering the Yellow Jackets have now failed to cover in five straight Games, Four of them came with them as favorites.
This one could be a similar result to the Game at Clemson, when the Tigers won 43-24. The ‘Noles should have no problem on offense and the defense could easily do enough to cover in this Game.
But in this meeting, the Yellow Jackets are 4-0-2 ATS in the last six Games. In addition, the Seminoles have not covered in six straight Games following an ATS win. But will these trends matter against a less-than-average Georgia Tech team?
Our Pick – The numbers point towards Florida State. The Seminoles have the 7th best defensive yards per point number in the nation at 21.5 while Our model, when using data only from the last 4 Games has FSU on top by 12.
On the other hand, while Georgia Tech may have lost 5 straight, it could be said they are the more battle tested of the two teams. Clemson, Notre Dame, Duke and NC aren’t exactly cupcakes.
We’re going to go against Our numbers as well as the betting public (over 80% of the wagers have come in on FSU) and take battle tested Georgia Tech +6.5