College Football Picks: Florida State vs. Oklahoma State

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 3:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 8, 2014 3:39 PM UTC

The Florida State Seminoles are clear-cut favorites to repeat as national champions this year, but they’ll likely struggle to cover the number in their season opener against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Week 1 matchup.

<p style="text-align:center"><span><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" src="/video/embed/?videoId=20924" width="560"></iframe></span></p> <p><br /> <span><b>Lofty expectations</b></span><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">Since the 1999 campaign, it’s important to point out that previous <a href="/college-football/news/college-football-betting-college-football-playoff-predictions-a-40556/" target="_blank" title="Which team will you pick to win the Playoffs?">national title winners</a> are 15-0 SU in season openers the following year—winning those affairs by an average of 31 points.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Florida State is being offered at betting odds of +337 to capture the 2015 NCAA football championship game—a clear No. 1 choice in the futures market with Alabama sitting in the second spot at +675.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">College football handicappers will find that 13 starters return to a team that led the country in scoring offense and defense a year ago.</span></p> <p><br /> <span style="font-size:1em"> </span><b style="font-size:1em">Light on experience</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">Oklahoma State’s eight returning starters happens to be the lowest number among <a href="/picks/college-football/college-football-picks-oklahoma-team-beat-big-12/40507/" target="_blank" title="Oklahoma U is the Team To Beat In Big 12">Big 12 Conference</a> members, which means the program will have a hard time improving upon its 10-3 SU record from 2013-14.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Cowboys quarterback J.W. Walsh has started eight games in this first two years on campus in Stillwater, but he’ll be targeting a group of receivers with no player having more than 40 career catches.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The program is still a dangerous underdog in the betting odds, considering it has won nine of 13 regular season games versus non-conference opponents on the road or on a neutral field since 2003.</span></p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Famous Jameis</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">All eyes will be focused on <a href="/picks/college-football/ncaa-football-picks-jameis-winston-heisman-trophy-odds/39966/" target="_blank" title="NCAA Football Picks: Jameis Winston Heisman Trophy Odds">Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston</a> in this primetime affair, as he looks to build off a season that saw him throw for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Winston’s first go around in Tallahassee saw the offense set the college football record for points in a season—a surprising number when you find that he was third on the team’s depth chart entering spring practices a year ago.</span></p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Need to create turnovers</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has placed a premium on creating turnovers, which led the school to a plus-15 turnover margin last year—a number that the inexperienced group must match or eclipse to participate in the bowl season this year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Oklahoma State has amassed a 59-19 record since Spencer accepted a role on head coach Mike Gundy’s staff, with the stop-unit leading the nation in forcing 163 opponent miscues since 2009.</span></p> <p><br /> <b style="font-size:1em">Prediction</b><br /> <span style="font-size:1em">I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cowboys as one of their Week 1 <a href="/picks/college-football/" target="_blank" title="For more NCAAF betting advice &amp; analysis click here">college football picks</a>, as their average margin of defeat has been nine points over the last four seasons.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em"><b>Free College Football Pick:</b> Oklahoma State Cowboys +20 at 5Dimes</span></p>
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