The Florida State Seminoles host the Florida Gators as one of the more heated rivalries in college football is renewed Saturday at noon ET. FSU comes off an impressive victory over then-No. 20 Boston College and must win in order to claim bowl eligibility and avoid its first losing season in 42 years, while the Gators have won two straight and look to finish off a 9-3 regular season. The Gators are seven-point favorites in the latest Florida vs. Florida State odds, up from an open of 3.5. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 51.5. Before you make any Florida vs. Florida State picks, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s Emory Hunt has to say.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former collegiate running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has provided his followers with winning seasons in college and pro football. That has been especially true when picking the Seminoles, with an amazing 11 wins of his past 12 picks involving the team. That includes all four picks in 2018: Notre Dame (-18) in a 42-13 win over Florida State, Clemson (-14) in a 59-10 victory, FSU (+12.5) in a narrow 28-27 loss to Miami and Virginia Tech (+7) in a 24-3 Hokies win. Anyone who followed his advice is way up.
Now, he has turned his attention to Saturday’s Sunshine State showdown. Hunt has scoured every aspect of this matchup and released a confident point-spread selection. It’s only available at SportsLine.
Hunt knows that wins and losses for Florida State can be directly linked to the play of quarterback Deondre Francois. When he has passed for at least 235 yards, the Seminoles are a perfect 5-0. When he doesn’t, they are 0-5. When Francois has time to throw, he has two top-tier targets. Nyqwan Murray has 51 receptions for 709 yards, while big-play weapon Tamorrion Terry has 32 for 666 and eight touchdowns.
FSU’s defense has been one of the best at stopping the run, allowing 135 yards per game. That matches up well against Florida and its run-first approach.
Just because the Seminoles are motivated and at home doesn’t mean they can keep up and cover against the rival Gators.
Florida is led by a defense that’s allowing just 21 points and 343 yards per game, including only 174.8 through the air, 13th fewest in the nation. The Gators’ defensive strength will come in handy against the pass-first Seminoles. Defensive lineman Jachai Polite has 8.5 of the team’s 27 sacks and has forced four fumbles.
On offense, quarterback Feleipe Franks has 20 touchdowns, six interceptions and has thrown for 2,030 yards, the first Gators quarterback in seven years to top 2,000 yards. The run game averages nearly as many yards as the pass game, with backs Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlett logging a combined 1,272 yards on 5.9 per carry. Franks has been a weapon with his feet, adding a team-high six touchdowns.
We can tell you Hunt is leaning over, but he has unearthed the critical x-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who covers in Florida vs. Florida State? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump on Saturday, from an accomplished handicapper who is 11-1 on picks involving the Seminoles, and find out.