Despite losing eleven players to the NFL draft and only returning 11 starters in 2013, the Seminoles remain an extremely dangerous team that is loaded with NFL prospects. But, the majority of college football sports bettors may overlook Florida State based upon a lack of returning starters, together with the loss of four defensive linemen to the 2013 NFL Draft. The experts at Pro Edge Sports believe the Seminoles could run the table in 2013 and secure a spot in the National Title game.
Jameis Winston, a true freshman and the nation’s #1 quarterback prospect, gets the start under center for Florida State, and he is supported by one of the best offensive lines in college football. The Seminoles return 96 career starts from a unit that nearly doubled its rushing total last year (206 rushing yards per game; 5.6 yards per carry), while allowing just 26 sacks (6.1%). Winston also finds support in an elite wide receiving corp. led by Greg Dent, Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene. Greene led the team last year with 741 yards on 3.0 yards per reception, while Benjamin finished fourth with 495 yards on 16.5 yards per catch. Despite losing top running back Chris Thompson, Florida State returns two excellent backs in Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, both of whom had more carries than Thompson last season. Overall, Florida State possesses one of the best offenses in the country, and I expect Winston to excel in his first collegiate year based upon the fact that he is surrounded by veteran talent.
Florida State also possesses an outstanding defense that begins with a secondary that returns seven of its top 8 performers from last year. Led by safety Lamarcus Joyner, who was named 1st Team ACC, the Seminoles will improve upon last season’s numbers wherein they limited opposing quarterbacks to 48.8% with a 13-11 ratio. Florida State also boasts an extremely talented group of linebackers that include last year’s top two tacklers in seniors Christian Jones and Telvin Smith. College football fans and sports bettors alike may be pessimistic about Florida State’s defensive line after losing four starters to the 2013 NFL Draft, but the Seminoles still take the field with a very good line. With Jacobbi McDaniel back, together with thirteen VHT’s, the Seminoles have a Top 10 defensive line in 2013.
One of the other reason for why we are bullish on the Seminoles is the fact that they own the best special teams unit in college football. Now, let’s take a look at how Florida State matches up against Pittsburgh in tonight’s game at Heinz Field:
- Florida State is 2-7 ATS as road favorites of more than seven points, including going 0-5 ATS as double-digit favorites last season;
- Despite a lot of promise, Jameis Winston is making his first collegiate road start in a very difficult environment before a nationally-televised audience;
- Pittsburgh looks strong in the trenches with Matt Rotherman at offensive guard and Aaron Donald at defensive tackle;
- Pittsburgh also possesses a talented secondary led by Jason Hendricks, along with 6 of its top eight performers from last year;
- Cohesiveness may be an issue for Florida State as head coach Jimbo Fisher has six new assistants this year.
Interestingly, the point spread opened at Pittsburgh +7.5 in this game, but a flood of sharp money has moved the line upwards to 10.5 and even 11 at some off shore outlets. Pro Edge’s experts have a line of 16.5 in this contest, which has us leaning slightly with the road favorite. However, the technical situations favor Pittsburgh, and the Panthers finally have stability with the return of second-year head coach Paul Chryst. Pro Edge Sports is also aware of the fact that over 80% of the betting public is favoring Florida State, which always causes us concern. If you like Florida State, we suggest betting them as soon as possible; if you like the home underdog, Pro Edge believes the number will continue to move in your favor so patience is a virtue before betting on the game.