College Football Pick
Florida is in its Conference championship Game, something Florida State can’t say. That said, it’s not like the Gators are having that much more of a successful season than the Seminoles. And that’s shown in the spread of this Game as the ‘Noles were -7 point home favorites early in the week at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
This year hasn’t gone to plan for Florida State, an early season playoff favorite, but they can still close things on a high note. The Seminoles have won three straight going into this Game and have looked somewhat like the team many thought they would be. But this matchup is a little different than Boston College or Syracuse, their opponents the last two Games.
Florida isn’t considered a good team by a lot of people and they upended those thoughts by winning at LSU last weekend as a two-touchdown underdog. But still, the Gators are a hard team to trust as that win over LSU was their only good win of the season. And the only touchdown they scored was on a somewhat lucky 98-yard pass.
These teams met in a similar situation a year ago, but in Gainesville. The Seminoles failed to make the ACC title Game, while the Gators were headed to the SEC championship. And yet, Florida State dominated on the road in a 27-2 win. An ineffective Florida offense turned into a disaster in the rivalry Game and it wouldn’t be surprising if that happened again.
Florida State’s defense isn’t considered great, but they have some NFL-level players that make a difference. To go along with that, it may not matter as the Gators haven’t scored more than 24 points in their last Four Games. Their running Game has been better this year with Jordan SCarlett averaging 5.2 yards per carry, but that can only get them so far. He had 108 yards against LSU and that still didn’t lead to much outside of field goals.
Barring any 90-yard touchdown passes, it’s a wonder how the Gators will score. Austin Appleby looks slated to start again and there’s no reason to put trust behind him. He’s been fine, but isn’t the type of quarterback to drop a bunch of points on an opposing defense.
For Florida to pull this upset, it’s going to come via the defense. The Gators have held down plenty of teams this year, but when faced with a decent offense, that hasn’t been the case. They allowed 31 points to Arkansas and 38 to Tennessee.
The Seminoles could easily take the same route they did a year ago with Dalvin Cook, who had 183 yards and two touchdowns. He’s been one of the only bright spots for the team this season and he’s coming off a 225-yard, Four-touchdown performance. Expect a heavy dose of Cook, while freshman QB Deondre Francois aims not to turn it over. Francois has been good at times, but this offense wants to go through Cook. If Cook can’t find room, Francois isn’t ready to take over the offense himself and that’s where Florida has a chance.
But that’s a big chance because no one has stopped Cook in the last two months.
The Gators have failed to cover in their last six non-Conference Games and are 1-6 ATS in their last seven following an ATS win. The Seminoles are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home Games and 1-4 ATS in their last five following an ATS win. The under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these schools played in Tallahassee and the favorite is 14-4 ATS in the last 18 matchups.
Our Pick – Triple revenge spot for the Gators. Upset? Florida +7