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The Florida State Seminoles have been very close to getting upset on a couple different occasions and one has to wonder if this could be the week. The Seminoles have a tricky Thursday night game against the host Louisville Cardinals and the steam in the betting market has been on Louisville most of the week. Louisville brings the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense into this game and Florida State is clearly on upset alert this week.

#2 Florida State vs. Louisville College Football Preview

Date/Time: Thursday October 30, 7:30 p.m. ET


College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb

College Football Betting Favorite: Florida State -5

Total: 50.5

Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles are nowhere near as dominant as they were last season. The Seminoles are just 1-6 ATS on the season. Fisher is now 52-10 straight up at Florida State, but just 32-28-1 against the number. All three road games for the Seminoles have gone over the total. Bobby Petrino is 6-2 straight up and 5-3 ATS in the first season of his second tenure at Louisville. Six of Louisville’s eight games have stayed under.

Florida State Seminoles:

Another week, another off-the-field issue for Florida State. Running back Karlos Williams is being investigated for domestic violence, as well as his role in an alleged armed robbery. It’s safe to assume that Fisher will put his foot down this week with Williams after facing so much backlash for how he has handled Jameis Winston’s repeated offenses. In any event, the Seminoles have won on the strength of Winston’s arm this season. Their running game is averaging just 125 yards per game. The touchdown numbers are way down for Winston, who threw 40 touchdown passes last season and has thrown just 13 this season. The defense has also regressed. They’re on pace to give up the most points per game in a season since 2009. It’s entirely possible that Florida State’s 2013-14 season created unrealistic expectations, but they haven’t passed the eye test most weeks either.

Louisville Cardinals:

All you need to know about the Louisville offense is that DeVante Parker has played one game and he’s fifth on the team in both receptions and receiving yardage. The Cardinals got back their most dynamic offensive player for their most recent game and he caught nine passes for 132 yards. The running game has been a bust under Petrino, as the Cardinals have racked up just 3.6 yards per carry. Neither Will Gardner nor Reggie Bonnafon has taken the quarterback job and run with it. The strength of this Louisville team is clearly the defense, which has been outstanding once again. Under the tutelage of first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, the Cardinals have allowed just 14.6 points per game and lead the nation in total defense. One has to wonder how good this group would be with a better offense to flip field position and avoid costly turnovers.

Free Pick: Louisville Cardinals +5

Having 6 or 6.5 would be a lot nicer in a game that is projected to be rather low scoring, but the Cardinals are catching the Seminoles in a good spot here. The strengths they have on defense match up well with Florida State’s strengths on offense. The concern for Louisville is the offense making enough plays to keep them in the game. Of course, Louisville hasn’t faced a team of this caliber, but the snowball has been rolling for a Florida State upset and this is the last remaining landmine separating the Seminoles from being a lock to get into the College Football Playoff.

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