Louisville/Florida State for ACC Title, CFP spot for Seminoles
Saturday night in Charlotte, the Florida State Seminoles are a 2.5 point favorite over the Louisville Cardinals, with an O/U sitting at 48.5 This matchup has lost a little luster in the last two weeks, as Florida State star quarterback Jordan Travis was lost for the rest of the season with a leg injury, and Louisville lost to rival Kentucky last week – effectively ending its College Football Playoff hopes.
How will this one play out?
Odds as of 11/28, 8:30 a.m. PT
Florida State, while ultimately pulling the game out against rival Florida on the road, clearly did not look like the same team we’ve seen over the first 10.5 games with Travis under center. The betting market seems to agree, as this line has ticked down four points from lookahead lines in recent weeks, and even opened Florida State -4 at Circa this week before being chopped down below the key number of 3.
From a matchup perspective, it’s tough to rely on my season-long ratings, because they obviously are largely impacted by Travis’s presence throughout the season, a luxury the Seminoles will not have in this game. Regardless, Florida State finished No. 11 in my T Shoe Index power ratings overall, while Jeff Brohm’s Cardinals finished No. 24. From a résumé standpoint, I have Florida State in my top four, sitting at No. 4, while Louisville compiled the 18th-best résumé in the country. Mike Norvell’s Seminoles finished with my No. 12 rated offense and No. 13 rated defense; on the flip side, the Cards compiled the No. 28 rated offense and No. 34 rated defense.
With a healthy Travis, my projection on this game would be Florida State -8.5, and I would agree with the market here that he is probably worth around 6 points to the spread, so I agree with the current sub-three line. I project this total at 53 points, but given how the Seminoles’ offense looked last week, I certainly understand the 4.5 point discrepancy here.
From a betting perspective, this is a difficult game to handicap.You can currently bet Florida State to make the CFP at -140, whereas the moneyline for this game sits a -135 at DraftKings; so, if you think Travis’s absence means less than the market, the best bet, mathematically, is to play the -2.5 at -110, as that equals a money line of -130 in terms of implied probability (for more on this concept, check out my article about price equivalencies and when to buy points in college football).
The current moneyline for Louisville at Draftkings is +114, which is better value than taking the 2.5 points at standard odds. Personally, I would lean to the latter and play the Louisville moneyline, as I think there’s a good chance they rebound off a loss and end Florida State’s College Football Playoff dreams.
Lean: Louisville ML +114