How To Bet High Profile NCAAF Clash Between #2 Florida St vs #10 Louisville

Florida State Seminoles Player Celebrates

Willie Bee

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:01 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2016 9:01 PM UTC

The winner of Saturday's ACC matchup between the Florida State and Louisville will maintain its playoff aspirations, and it's part of our Week 3 free college football picks.

Yeah, baby! This is how all Saturday's should start this time of year, with a gridiron battle the caliber of the Florida State Seminoles visiting the Louisville Cardinals in a critical ACC clash.

Sportsbooks believe it will be a good one, the 12 PM (ET) boot at Papa John's Stadium carried on ABC finding Florida State down to a 2 point favorite at top rated sportsbook 5Dimes after opening -3. Scoreboard players are faced with a decision on a 65½ point total.

The 'Noles and Cards first started playing football in 1954 when FSU was an independent and The 'Ville was yet to grow to the Div-I level. Matchups during the 70s and 80s were heavily in favor of the Seminoles who reeled off seven consecutive wins from 1979-87 by an average score of 40-9, three of the dubyas ending in shutouts.

Their meetings the last two years have come as ACC rivals and also gone to Florida State to give the Seminoles a decided 14-2 edge in the series. Chalked in both contests, FSU covered the NCAA football odds with both tilts going 'over' the totals.


Key DB For FSU To Miss Next Month Or More
This is the first of four big tests for Florida State as far as their chances in the ACC and nationally go, and they'll have to make do without starting safety Derwin James. The sophomore had some minor knee surgery this week and his earliest return date is after the next big test, October 8 at Miami-FL. Fellow soph AJ Westbrook starts in James' place.

The good news is James was just one of 17 returning starters for Jimbo Fisher and FSU this season and there's solid depth on the entire roster. The bad news is why the hell did Fisher have any of his 1st-team defense in with a 42-6 lead over Charleston Southern last Saturday? This was a Buccaneers team decimated with suspensions, mind you. Fisher's answer was, “You can't get any better sitting on the bench. You have to play,” And because if that rationale, James will not play now for at least four weeks.

Freshman QB Deondre Francois and junior wideout Travis Rudolph will play, however, and that has proven to be a nice 1-2 punch through the air for the Seminoles. The O-line has yet to dominate for the Osceola & Renegade bunch, both run and pass blocking, and that's something that has to get better if Florida State is going to live up to its No. 2 ranking.


Jackson Leads Top-Scoring 'Ville Attack
Offense, offense and more offense has been the early theme for No. 10 Louisville, The Cardinals sent their opener 'over' a 58½ point total by themselves in pasting a 70-14 whipping on Charlotte, and almost did the same last Friday at Syracuse where they manhandled the Orange by a 62-28 count with a 69 point scoreboard mark.

Directing the top-scoring attack in the country is quarterback Lamar Jackson who threw for over 400 yards at Syracuse and fell a yard short of adding 200 more on the ground. The sophomore was among the second tier of Heisman favorites when the NCAAF futures went out this summer, but has quickly risen to rank as one of the favorites now.

It goes without saying the Cards will be facing a tougher defensive unit in the Seminoles than they did against Syracuse and Charlotte. It also goes without saying college football bettors need to get an update on the weather before making a wager. Right now, there's an 80% chance of rain in Louisville on Saturday, the thermometer climbing into the low 80s with a light SW breeze.

That forecast leaves me a bit uneasy about a free college football pick, but I'll bite the bullet and go with the visitors anyway.


Free College Football Pick: Florida State -2 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes
Season: 8-6 (+2.05)

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