…And sometimes, a brand instead of a team is given odds in Las Vegas.
The FSU Seminoles are 1-3, missing their superstar young QB to injury, and as frustrated as a pack of hogs without any slop. Hampered by natural disasters after blowing a gasket in a 24-7 season-opening loss to Alabama, the team had to wait until September 30th to claim its first win, 26-19 over Wake Forest.
But it’s still Florida State, and close losses to tough ACC schools NCSU and Miami have made bookies think they’re the favorite at Duke on Saturday.
The Blue Devils are 4-2, albeit suffering from a 2-game losing streak. The offense only managed a paltry 6 points against the Miami Hurricanes, and last week’s 28-21 loss to Virginia could have been a watershed moment for the Cavaliers. Fans are hoping that nimble sophomore QB Daniel Jones, and the program’s history of dealing with adversity well under HC David Cutcliffe, can help turn things back around.
But it’s still Duke, and they’re installed as more than a touchdown-underdog.
Who: Florida State Seminoles at Duke Blue Devils
When: Saturday, October 14th, 12 PM EST
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Lines: FSU (-7.5) at Duke (+7.5) / O/U Total: (44)
Duke’s most complete game all season was a 41-17 rout of Big Ten opponent Northwestern in Week 2. Jones had a 300-yard day passing and a 100-yard day rushing. Clayton Thorsen was held to 120 yards in the air and intercepted twice, and the Blue Devil offensive line only allowed 1 meaningless sack.
Contrast that with last week’s disappointment against Virginia. Jones was horrible, throwing 2 picks and completing only 14 passes with a 3.0 ypa average. Faced with pressure to stuff an opponent or lose, the Duke secondary got behind the curve and allowed Kurt Benkert and his receivers to find the end zone 3 times.
The Duke QB is in a big-time slump. And FSU has the horses on defense to take advantage. The Seminole ‘D held QB Malik Rosier of Miami to just 19 completions on 44 attempts, and landed 3 sacks.
Take Florida State to cover. But don’t do it because Duke is Duke and FSU is FSU. Make the wager because the Seminoles have an improving offense and a slap-leather defense, going to meet a team which can play ball but whose most important player is in the doldrums. The visitors will win by at least 2 touchdowns.