After a dismal 5-7 season last year, Bettors are currently favoring the Florida State Seminoles season win total to go under 7.5 wins.
Florida State had one of the more disappointing campaigns in the country last year after having the 12th-best odds to win the National Championship.
That hype has somewhat gone away in the second season of Willie Taggart, but the Seminoles are still tied with Syracuse for the second-best odds to win the ACC Atlantic.
This team has a long way to go after getting torched by any decent opponent last season. That’s why their over/under opened at 7.5 wins with early money on the under at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Offense Looks to Take Step Forward
In addition to working James Blackman back into the offense, Taggart went with Kendal Briles (Houston, FAU, Baylor) as the new offensive coordinator. Deondre Francois transferred to FAU, which puts Blackman under center, similar to 2017 when he put up 19 TDs and 11 INTs with a 58.2% completion rate.
With new coaches and a hopefully better line, this offense should take a step forward after managing just 21.9 points per game last year. The line returns a couple starters, but also gets back guys from injury in addition to grad transfer Ryan Roberts who is expected to start at left tackle.
That should lead to a better season for running back Cam Akers (706 yards, 4.4 ypc, 6 TDs), but also Blackman and the passing game.
Tamorrion Terry (744 yards, 8 TDs, 21.3 ypr) takes over as the top wide out with Keith Gavin (415 yards) and tight end Tre’ McKitty (26 receptions) still there.
The real question is what Blackman can do, but at the least, a better line should help the ground game.
Defense Need to do Better than 31.5 ppg
The defense also has major room for improvement in coordinator Harlon Barnett’s second season after allowing 268.7 passing yards and 31.5 points per contest. Eight of the top 10 tacklers return, but numerous guys are switching positions like leading tackler Hamsah Nasirildeen from safety to linebacker.
The core of the group is intact with Marvin Wilson on the line and senior linebacker Dontavious Jackson roaming the middle of the field.
The secondary returns every piece outside of Nasirildeen, as Stanford Samuels and Asante Samuel Jr. take over at cornerback. It’s hard to see this group being as bad with the amount of talent returning and another year in this scheme under Barnett.
Oddsmakers Have it Right – Looks Like 7 or 8 Wins
The ‘Noles won’t be battling with Clemson at the top of the ACC just yet, but they should at least make a bowl game again.
The opener against Boise State (opened -3) will be a good barometer to see where the team is at, and it’ll also be important to pick up a few ACC wins before getting a week off to prepare for Clemson at the beginning of October.
The schedule is mostly favorable with only four road games in conference play. Sure, they could lose any of those, but in this version of the ACC, anyone can beat anyone (not including Clemson).
Getting two of the expected top teams from the Coastal isn’t great, nor is the trip to Florida in the finale, but seven wins is a good prediction for this group. The Seminoles could hit eight or nine wins if Blackman is suddenly a stud under Briles, but that’s a big ask with six or seven more likely.
2019 Florida State Seminoles Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Boise State (TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville)
Sept. 7 vs. UL Monroe
Sept. 14 at Virginia
Sept. 21 vs. Louisville
Sept. 28 vs. NC State
Oct. 12 at Clemson
Oct. 19 at Wake Forest
Oct. 26 vs. Syracuse
Nov. 2 vs. Miami
Nov. 9 at Boston College
Nov. 16 vs. Alabama State
Nov. 30 at Florida