As many bettors know, the Florida State Seminoles are in line to make the College Football Playoff, but they need to maintain their composure this Thursday night as they visit the Louisville Cardinals.
The Florida State Seminoles Will Win Because…
They are by far the better team in this matchup, as reflected by the College Football odds. Louisville has been an average team this season. The Cardinals have lost to Clemson, which is in the midst of very tough times right now, and to Virginia as well. Louisville has not done much, but the program’s move to the Atlantic Coast Conference might create some added interest. Still, the Cardinals aren’t even in the top 40 of both rushing yards and passing yards. They’re 90th in rushing yards and 72nd in a passing game that has to be able to look more down the field. Louisville’s talent base just isn’t what it was under former coach Charlie Strong. A few bad seasons might have led people around the Louisville program to openly speculate on the next head coach in college football.
For now, Florida State shows no real sign of slowing down. The Seminoles should be able to exercise a measure of control over this game in the first half, before riding Winston in the second half and making every big play that needs to be made.
The Louisville Cardinals Will Win Because…
They are in a perfect position to spring an upset. Louisville gets a week off to fully prepare for Florida State. The Cardinals are going to be jacked up for this game, ready to play it on an emotional level. Louisville also has head coach Bobby Petrino, one of the most intelligent play callers in college football. If there’s a weakness on film, Petrino has a very good chance of exploiting it and using the kind of game plan that can really magnify its importance. Previous Louisville games haven’t been that exciting, but you know Petrino has been saving up parts of his playbook for this game and this opponent. Louisville was never going to win everything or figure out everything in its first season as an ACC member, so the Cardinals could afford a learn-and-grow approach. This is the game they want to look at as their coming-of-age party, their true arrival in the Atlantic Coast Conference, where new rivalries are just being formed.
What should also be noted here before placing your College Football picks is that Florida State ranks 104th in the country in rushing yards. The Seminoles have rarely if ever been balanced in terms of distributing the run and pass, but that gap was noticeable this season. Jameis Winston does so much for this team at quarterback, but when he’s handing the ball off, Florida State isn’t getting very much done. The Seminoles are 14th in the nation in passing offense, but with their lack of a ground game, they could fall into the same trap they found when they played Auburn for the national title a season ago. This time, Florida State might not escape the trap.
If Jameis Winston has time to throw and Louisville’s defensive line can’t unsettle him or unnerve him, Florida State should be able to do what it wants in this game. That should be the expectation of fans and college football betting handicappers alike.
Free College Football Pick: Florida State at Bet365