Every week in college football, I search to isolate a team who has fallen out of favor with the linemaker and the public. Here I will focus on the Florida vs. Florida State.
Perception/Reality Game of the Week: Florida vs. Florida St. (-7) 3:30 ET ESPN
Every week when preparing my College Football picks, I search to isolate a team who has fallen out of favor with the linemaker and the public. Playing this team provides great value when fading an opponent who has suddenly become a public darling in the eyes of the pointspread gods. Rarely, do we ever get to use a defending National Champion who has won 27 consecutive games in this role. But, that is exactly what we get to do today in your PERCEPTION/REALITY GAME OF THE WEEK.
One month ago, the love for the Gators would certainly not have been a reality. For after a 42-13 loss to Missouri on October 18th, Florida was on a 1-3 SU ATS slide and just 3-3 SU for the season. Suddenly, they have turned around their season with a 3-1 SU ATS streak keyed by a 38-20 rivalry win against Georgia at “the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Yet, it has not been enough to save the job of HC Muschamp, who has proclaimed he will be retiring after this contest. That announcement has rallied the Florida players, as well as the betting public, in driving this line down to a miniscule 7 points. The Gators may be an improved group aided by the services of their frosh QB, who has given promise to a Florida offense that is now averaging 32 PPG. There is always that Gator defense which qualifies under Dandy status at 21 PPG, 108/2.9 overland and at just 4.4 defensive yards per play. All good reasons for the public to be salivating with this underdog!
But as outlined at the top of this analysis, line value is the name of the game in CFB handicapping. Last year, FSU laid 28 points to Florida in a 37-7 smashing. That makes it more than a 2 TD swing in this season finale which has seen the defending champion, Florida St. Seminoles, be the only undefeated Power 5 conference team in recording 27 consecutive victories. Proving their mettle each and every week in coming from behind at halftime no fewer than 5 times this season, expect Florida St., led by QB Winston, to get this victory by double digits in racking up some style points for the pollsters, who are looking for every reason possible to dismiss the success of this defending champion. That’s what off-field negative publicity will do to a team’s persona in this high-tech era. Florida St. wins this Week 14 Rivalry Match, by at least double digits and way more easily than most could imagine.
Free College Football Pick: Florida State -7.5 at 5Dimes