Louisville Looks Cover NCAAF Spread Against Unbeaten Florida State
No Jameis Winston…no problem! The 11th-ranked Florida State Seminoles apparently aren’t missing their former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback nearly as much as anyone thought they would prior to the start of the 2015 regular season.
Florida State will look to its their perfect record intact when they host a ‘hard-luck’ Louisville Cardinals team that has won two straight games and is quite desperate to avoid their third loss of the season against a ranked opponent Now, let’s find out if the Noles can bring home the bacon as a nearly touchdown favorite.
Louisville Cardinals at No. 11 Florida State Seminoles
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 17, 2015
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
NCAAF Spread: Florida State -6.5
Louisville Cardinals (2-3 SU, 4-1 ATS)
The Cardinals are coming off a bye week and have a pretty solid defense! Louisville has won two straight after dropping their first three games of the season and enters their Week 7 matchups coming off a hard-fought 20-13 win over NC State the last time out. All three of the Cardinals’ losses have come against teams that were or are currently ranked.
“You watch the film … you see a 5-0 team,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said of the Cardinals. “They have three losses but all of those have come right down to the wire.”
Louisville’s three losses against Auburn, Clemson and Houston have come by a grand total of 13 points. After struggling to find a suitable starting quarterback early on, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino has settled on freshman Lamar Jackson.
Jackson has rushed for a whopping 313 combined yards in the last two games in wins over Samford and North Carolina State and put up a 101 passing yards and one touchdown while rushing for another 121 yards and an additional score against the Wolfpack.
Despite what looks like a dismal 2-3 record heading into this contest, the Cardinals have been solid on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense where they limit the opposition to just 20.2 points per game to rank 35th in the nation.
Florida State (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS)
They have an elite defense, a superstar running back and a heady quarterback! Florida State moved to 5-0 by getting past Miami 29-24 in a hard-fought Week 6 ACC matchup. While the Noles failed to cover the spread as a 6.5-point home favorite to fall to 0-2 ATS over the last two games, Florida State has gone 13-2 against Louisville over the last 15 meetings and hasn’t lost to the Cards at home since 1952 when a young Johnny Unitas led Louisville to a 41-14 win.
Florida State quarterback Everett Golson completed 25 of 33 passes for 291 yards with one touchdown and has yet to throw an interception this season while tossing eight TD passes.
However, it is running back Dalvin Cook that really makes the Seminoles go. The powerful sophomore was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 222 yards and two-touchdowns against the Hurricanes. Cook is second in the nation behind LSU star Leonard Fournette is yards per game (158.4 ypg).
“We’re again evolving into the kind of team we need to be,” Fisher said. “I’ve been pleased, but not satisfied.”
Florida State averages an impressive 32.0 points per game, but it on the defensive side of the ball where they’ve really got the job done, ranking 10th in the nation in points allowed by limiting their opponents to just 14.0 points per contest.
Standout defensive tackle Demarcus Walker was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week after recording two sacks, forcing one fumble and batting down one pass against Miami on Saturday.
Game Analysis: 57 percent of the betting public likes Florida State to cover the spread here, but I don’t, mostly because Louisville has lost only one game this season by more than three points and have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Despite the fact that they’ve won a whopping 28 straight conference games, Florida State is just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games and a discouraging 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games.
My Pick: Florida State 21 Louisville 17