Peach Bowl Pick: Strong Defenses Suggest That Houston & Florida State Will Go 'Under' 55.5

Ross Benjamin

Monday, December 21, 2015 2:17 AM GMT

Our handicapping professional provides a betting preview article on the bowl game matchup between Houston and Florida State and includes a college football pick.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2960409, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

College Football Pick: Under 55.5

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

CHICK-FIL-A Peach Bowl
The Houston Cougars (12-1) and Florida State Seminoles (10-2) will meet in the 2015 Peach Bowl on Thursday 12/31. The opening kickoff at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta is slated for Noon ET. Current (12/19) college football odds at 5Dimes indicate that Florida State is a 7-point favorite and the posted total is 55.5.

 

The Defenses
Houston’s defense has given up their share of yards (381.3 PG) this season. However, they’ve overcompensated for that flaw by forcing an enormous 30 turnovers by opposing teams. It’s been more of a “bend but not break” mentality on that side of the ball, and has resulted in allowing a respectable 20.5 points per game. It will be interesting to see how this opportunistic defense fares against a Seminoles team that’s been exceptional in regards to ball security. Florida State has committed a mere 10 turnovers this season, and 5 of those came in their game against North Carolina State. Houston has seen eight of their last eleven games stay under the total.

Florida State has fielded one of the best defensive units in the country this season. They rank 5th nationally in scoring defense (15.8 PPG) and 15th in total defense (327.7 YPG). The Seminoles have allowed 24 points or less in all twelve of their regular season games this season. They’ve also gone 8-3 under the total in its previous eleven games. As a matter of fact, Florida State has gone under the total in all five of their contests that weren’t played in Tallahassee, and there was a combined average of only 31.4 points scored per game, which has to be considered before placing your college football picks.

Must Read: A Brief Primer on Handicapping Bowl Games

College Football Betting Angle
Any team (Houston) playing on a neutral field with a total of 49.5 to 56.0, coming off winning three of their previous four games, versus an opponent (Florida State) that’s won eight or more of its last ten contests, resulted in those games going 28-5 (84.8%) under the total since 1992. The average total in those 33 games was 52.9, and there were a combined average of only 41.1 points scored per contest.