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College Football Odds – Florida State vs Florida Preview & Pick

Written by Matt Stevens   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 22:53

College Football Odds – Florida State vs Florida Preview & PickAs most sports betting sharps will tell you, this weekend’s Florida State/Florida tilt has a lot on the line for a game with a 24.5-point spread. The visiting Seminoles hope to boost their bowl status whereas the hosting Gators need to keep winning in their drive for a national title. Bettors have a tough decision to make as well since Florida often fails to cover big spreads. Let’s break down the matchup. 

Florida State Seminoles @ (1) Florida Gators

Saturday, November 28, 3:30 p.m. ET

Sportsbook favorite: Florida -24.5 

The first question to ask when assessing the mammoth spread is whether or not Florida State can score enough to keep this game close. Freshman quarterback EJ Manuel hasn’t exactly been a revelation since taking over for injured Christian Ponder; Manuel threw three interceptions versus Maryland last week. The Seminoles have to convert to a run-first offense without Ponder but arguably lack an elite back with Lonnie Pryor or Jermaine Thomas.

 

We know the Florida “D” poses a major problem for FSU. The Gators rank second in the nation in defense and have held eight of 11 foes under 100 rushing yards while never allowing more than 20 points in a game. Make no mistake; this is an intimidating matchup that could end up a nightmare for Manuel. 

So we know Florida State will have a tough type topping, say, 14 points. Can Florida score enough to cover? Even with Tim Tebow, the Gators’ aerial attack has been just so-so against elite defenses this season. Luckily for them, Florida State is anything but elite defensively. The Seminoles rank 106th in the nation overall and got gashed for 196 rushing yards against Maryland. Tebow plus explosive runners Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are licking their chops at this matchup.  

In the end, I like Florida to cover the spread. Everything about matchup favors them and it never hurts to play at home. Also, the rivalry factor seems to fuel Florida, as the Gators are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against FSU. Go with Florida and watch them inch closer to the BCS Championship game. The Sunshine’s State’s NFL odds for the Bucs and Dolphins don’t look so good, though! 

Football pick: Florida -24.5

 
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