College Football Picks: Value Play on South Florida +28 vs. Florida State

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 11:42 AM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2015 11:42 AM GMT

Florida State is coming off a weather-delayed game this past Saturday against Texas St., so the Seminoles are going to experience another unusual backdrop to one of their home games in September.

Momentum
The Bulls beat the Florida A&M Rattlers, 51-3, in their season opener. It’s true that the opponent was terrible, but South Florida did what it was capable of. A team in USF’s position would hope to be able to pound a weak opponent, and that’s what South Florida did. How much it means for the rest of the season is unclear.

Florida State was very sluggish in the first half, bothered by a weather delay (as young athletes likely will be), but the Seminoles settled down and took care of Texas State, 59-16. The game marked the Florida State debut of Everett Golson, the quarterback who almost defeated the Seminoles last year with Notre Dame. The game marked an adjustment period for all the new pieces the Noles have assembled. This also marked a time of refreshment, after running back Dalvin Cook underwent a stressful trial but was found to be innocent of the charges levied against him. There’s a lot of coaching Jimbo Fisher has to do for this team, so the idea of momentum doesn’t really hold much betting value for us to lean on the Seminoles for this Saturday's college football picks.

 

Line Moves
It’s early in the week, but the line on this game has held fairly steady at -27.5 points for Florida State. That seems large based on the previous week’s results for each team, but South Florida has been extremely bad the past few seasons, so this line feels more like disrespect for USF than respect for Florida State.

 

Notable Injuries
South Florida has defensive back Hassan Childs out for the season with an ACL injury. Stanley Clerveaux, a wide receiver, is also out for the season with the same injury. Linebacker Nigel Harris is expected to miss this game against Florida State with a suspension. Linebacker Tashon Whitehurst is in the exact same position.

Florida State, before this game, already knew that defensive lineman Lorenzo Featherston would be out for the season with a knee injury. What’s new, coming out of the team’s game against Texas State this past Saturday, is that defensive back Ryan Green is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Offensive lineman Abdul Bello is questionable for this next game with a knee injury. Offensive lineman Chad Mavety is questionable with a concussion, which would probably suggest that he’ll be out. Offensive lineman Cole Minshew is questionable with an ankle problem. Defensive back Marcus Lewis is questionable with a knee injury. Wide receiver Nyqwan Murray is questionable with a hand injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
The South Florida Bulls are a mystery, at least to the extent that most people probably weren’t expecting them to win a game by 48, even if the opponent wasn’t very good. The Bulls’ defense might be able to contain the Seminoles long enough to keep the margin modest. Florida State’s defense, though, might smother the Bulls’ offense. This game will be close to the number. What might help South Florida cover is the early start time – Florida State might take a quarter or two to really get going on offense.

College Football Pick: South Florida +28 at Bovada.

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