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ACC Championship Game: Florida State vs. Georgia Tech

Florida State has the lowest margin of victory of any unbeaten team in the last ten years, and the betting market continues to overvalue the Seminoles as evidenced by their 3-9 ATS record this season.  The Seminoles have been forced to come from behind in their last six games, and they have won their last three games by margins of only 4, 3 and 5 points.

Florida State takes the field with a very good offense that is averaging 34.6 points per game on 430 total yards at 6.3 yards per play and 12.4 yards per point.  The Seminoles’ attack has also performed well on foreign soil where they are averaging 40.6 points per game on 496 total yards at 7.0 yards per play and 12.2 yards per point.

Overall, Florida State is 1.1 yards per play better than average offensively, but the Seminoles’ attack has declined over the last three games: 24.7 points on 372 total yards at 6.0 yards per play and 15.1 yards per point.  Meanwhile, Georgia Tech’s defense has improved over that same period of time, limiting opponents to just 17.7 points on 315 total yards at 5.1 yards per play and 17.8 yards per point.

Regardless of Florida State’s regression (offensively) and Georgia Tech’s progression (defensively), the Seminoles should have success moving the ball against a mediocre Yellow Jacket stop unit that is 0.3 yards per play worse than average (6.1 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yards per play).

However, Georgia Tech should have even greater success moving the ball against a grossly overrated Florida State defense that is 0.1 yards per play better than average (5.2 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yards per play).  The Seminoles are also allowing 29.8 points per game on 455 total yards at 6.2 yards per play on the road this season.

The Yellow Jackets arrive in Charlotte with an explosive attack that is averaging 37.2 points per game on 469 total yards at 6.6 yards per play and 12.6 yards per point.  The Yellow Jackets are 5-1 SU and ATS on the road this season where they are averaging 41.7 points per game on 495 total yards at 6.9 yards per play and 11.9 yards per point.

Overall, Georgia Tech is 1.8 yards per rush play, 2.0 yards per pass play and 1.1 yards per play better than average offensively, which is good enough to score over 30 points against the Seminoles.  In fact, the Yellow Jackets possess a significant +1.4 yards per rush play, +2.0 yards per pass play and +1.0 yards per play advantage offensively over Florida State’s stop unit (or lack thereof).

Technically speaking, Georgia Tech is a perfect 4-0 ATS as an underdog this season, pulling upsets in all four games.  College football teams in conference championship games that won nineteen or more of their last 22 games are a money-burning 11-21-3 ATS, including 2-17-2 ATS when they are favored by less than seventeen points and are coming off a win.

Finally, versus four common ACC opponents, Georgia Tech was 4-0 ATS (+23.0 points per game; +122 yards per game), whereas the Seminoles were 1-3 ATS (+10.0 points per game; -8.0 yards per game).  Grab the points with the better team as Georgia Tech improves to 5-0 SU as an underdog in 2014.