Pick Gators +7.5 in Saturday's Florida vs. Florida State

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 1:48 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 1:48 PM GMT

Florida can make its season and ruin rival Florida State’s all in one fell swoop with a win in Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon and getting 7½ points, the Gators still seems worth a pick this weekend.

Odds Overview
Florida at #1 Florida State: (Florida State -7½, Pinnacle), Saturday 20:30 (ESPN/Watch ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT): The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook’s 2014 Games of the Year (released each summer) actually lined this game at Florida State -16 five or six months ago, so you can see back then how much respect top-ranked Florida State (11-0 SU, 3-8 ATS, 8-0 ACC) received from the oddsmakers in Sin City’s largest sportsbook—maybe a little too much. Well, scratch that “maybe” because when the line for this game against in-state rival Florida (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS, 4-4 SEC) here on Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee opened up Monday at FSU -10, early bettors (read The Wise Guys) quickly bet Florida all the way down to 7½, creating a potentially Massive Monster Middle (Florida State winning by 8 to 15) for the 0.000099% who got down on the Gators +16 over the summer. Live large whoever you may be. But you messed up my wonderful column here and my suggested pick of Florida getting 10 points so may you get a lump of coal and a Dr. Phil DVD in your Christmas stocking, bubba.

The Total Points on most college football odds has been set at 52 with the Money Line (Winner) market pricing host and Favorite Florida State at -300 and Florida at +250 (William Hill). The only prop wager showing on the Oddschecker board right now is the Odd/Even Points marketplace (BetVictor) which had the Odd priced at -137 and the Even at +105.

 

Florida Gators
Florida QB Jeff Driskel (106 completions, 9 TDs, 10 INTs) has only 195 attempted passes heading into this ACC-SEC picnic and rivalry and for the Gators to have any chance of upsetting Florida State here, Florida’s 107th-ranked Passing attack and WR Demarcus Robinson (43 completions, 703 yards, 7 TDs) will definitely have to produce. The Gators rank #40 in Rushing with RBs Matt Jones (157 rushes, 788 yards, 6 TDs) and Kelvin Taylor (99 rushes, 528 yards, 6 TDs) giving Florida enough of a ground game to stay in and win some games and average 31.6 ppg (#48 in nation) along the way. Hey, it ain’t always easy swimming in the shark-infested waters of the SEC.

The Gators have played some pretty good defense so far this season though and Florida (allowing 20.9 ppg, #23) and to try to stay in and maybe win this game against high-powered Florida State (35.5 ppg), Florida (8-14-1 ATS L23) will have to pound its running game, win the TO battle, be a little more aggressive throwing the ball and get a little luck. The Gators (4-1 SU L5 vs. FSU) can definitely win this game despite the mini-decline of Florida and the mini-ascension of the Seminoles. And this should be a really entertaining game to watch in the end, especially if the Gators are making Life hard for FSU and changing the potential FPS system landscape come Saturday afternoon.

 

Florida State Seminoles
Florida State—the only remaining undefeated team in College Football from a Power 5 conference—has escaped defeat five times so far late in games or in OT this season, but the ACC Atlantic Division’s darlings should really be put to the test here even though the game is at Home and will have some dude on a white horse throwing a big lighted spear into the turf or somthing theoretically ceremonial but really just designed to get the college kids off their cell phones for a few seconds to yell and support their school.

Whereas, Florida sort of sucks at passing the ball, the Seminoles—#3 in the latest CFP out Tuesday night—sort of suck at running the ball, where they rank a woeful 107th. So, expect Florida State QB Jameis Winston (243 completions, 3,125 yards, 19 TDs, 13 INTs) and the Seminoles 12th-ranked Passing attack (314.9 ypg) to throw on the Gators early on and throughout this Sunshine State contest with star senior WR Rashad Greene (83 completions, 1,148 yards, 5 TDs, 13.8 ypc) being a guy for fans, sports gamblers and Gators DBs to keep an eye on. What we all do with the other eye is completely our own business.

With the first-ever College Football playoff on the horizon, Florida State will try to D-up here, and with the 29th-ranked defense in Points Allowed (22.3 ppg), this could end up being a low-scoring chess match with both teams scoring in the mid- to high-20s. And this series sort of trends that way with the Under 8-2 in the L10 with Florida averaging just 26.0 ppg and Florida State (6-1 Under L7 at Home) an even more surprising 18.6 ppg in those L10 meetings. But it’s important to remember when looking at those averages that Florida was a much stronger team for much of that duration while Florida State was hardly as good as it is right now.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
Florida is 7-3 SU in its L10 against Florida State and with this being like the Gators Super Bowl—trying to ruin FSU’s season—this actually seems like a sweet spot to back the Underdogs on your college football picks although getting the 10 points like The Rich Man On The Hill would have been much nicer. There are always often overlooked advantages to having the biggest bankroll(s) and having access to the best numbers like traders in Wall Street firms working with the best and fastest (computer) servers. And when a line goes from 10 to 7½ in a couple of hours, you know there are very few tickets (bets) with Florida +8½, Florida +9, Florida +9½ and Florida +10 even out there. The Little Guy just has to deal what he can get when he can get it but if you are serious about trying to make money in sports gambling, you should know how this weekly routine (in football season) usually plays out. And remember this if betting the Gators in this game in the context of the amount you decide to bet: Florida +7½ is a lot different than Florida +10, even in a potentially high-scoring affair.

With Florida 6-1 ATS L7 on the Road at Florida State and 4-1 SU in its L5 here on the Road at Tallahassee, the Seminoles seemingly overrated, and the Gators having that emotional edge with them knowing they can burst their in-state rivals little Garnet-and-Gold bubble, taking Florida and the still-more-than-a-TD 7½ points is the call here Saturday afternoon, although the recommendation obviously comes with much less fervor than it would if the point spread were still sitting at +10, never mind the now-comedic (Florida) +16 put out this summer. Somebody somewhere is really smiling big right about now if they did bet the Gators and get those 16 points.

College Football Pick: Florida +7½ at 5Dimes

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