Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#189 Florida State 55.5 vs.
#190 Virginia -7
Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 7:30pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino



#189 Florida State University
#190 University of Virginia


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The #25 Virginia Cavaliers will host the Florida State Seminoles in an ACC battle Saturday night from Scott Stadium. The Seminoles came away with a 45-44 OT win against UL Monroe last week, and the Cavaliers recorded an easy 52-17 home win over William & Mary in their week two action. This marks the first meeting between these two schools since 2014 in a game Florida State won 34-20.

Seminoles Avoid Upset Loss to UL Monroe

The Florida State Seminoles avoided a disastrous start to the season by holding on for a wild 45-44 home overtime win over Louisiana Monroe last week. The Seminoles opened their season with a minor 36-31 upset home loss to Boise State. ‘Noles QB James Blackman was outstanding against Boise State where he tossed three touchdowns, and he followed with another three TD’s against two INT’s last week. The sophomore QB accrued 2230 passing yards in 2017 before losing the starting role to Deondre Francois last year.

Look for Cam Akers to play a factor in this game against a tough defense. The junior RB has posted a terrific start to the season, logging 309 rushing yards on an average of 6.1 yards per carry in two games after rushing for 706 yards in 2018. Akers won ACC running back of the week after his outstanding performance last week.

Head coach Willie Taggart expects a breakout season from Tamorrion Terry. The talented sophomore WR leads FSU with 10 catches for 156 receiving yards in two games. The FSU offense struggled in their disastrous 2018 season, but I expect them to improve in all areas this year.

The Seminoles defense was a lingering issue in 2018, and it appears this season will yield similar results after surrendering 36 and 44 points in their two games. The pass defense is especially an issue as they already stand down at 119th in the FBS against the pas. FSU’s offense has been fine through the first two games, scoring 31 and 45 points respectively. The Seminoles have defense will need to turn it around quickly.

Update (9/13/19): On Thursday, Taggart announced that he’s brought on Jim Leavitt, a 40-year coaching veteran, to the support staff. Leavitt was Taggart’s defensive coordinator at Oregon in 2017 and is officially the senior defensive analyst.

Taggart called Leavitt “a great addition to our football staff, our football team” and said, “I think it’s a plus for our football team.” “And I think it’s something that will help our football team.”

At this point, Leavitt can’t call plays but should assist in meetings and practices. In one year at Oregon, he led the Ducks defense to improve its total defensive rankings from 115th to 32nd.

Virginia Rolls Into AP Top 25

The Virginia Cavaliers have been rewarded for their 2-0 start by sliding into the AP Top rankings at #25. The Cavaliers came through with a convincing 30-14 road win in Pittsburgh in their season opener, followed by an easy 52-17 rout of William & Mary of the FCS last week. Cavs’ QB Bryce Perkins has posted a solid start to the season, racking up 373 passing yards with a 4:2 TD to INT ratio. The dual-threat senior QB has also accrued 112 rushing yards, and he is one of the top QB’s in the ACC Coastal.

The Cavaliers running game won’t be as potent as last season. So far they have split the duties between Mike Hollins (78 yards), and Wayne Taulapapa (66 yards). Virginia’s receiving core is a strength. Watch for Joe Reed in this one as he has made his presence felt in both games this season, bringing in a total of 11 receptions for 92 yards after recording 465 receiving yards in 2018. Hasise Dubois (95 receiving yards) is also a threat.

The Virginia defense was a strength last year, and so far this year it appears their defense will again be tough to solve. They limited Pittsburgh of the ACC to 185 passing yards along with only 78 rushing yards in their week one win, and they stand 15th in the FBS against the run.

The Cavaliers are averaging 41 points through two games, ranking them 30th overall. The Virginia defense has conceded an average of 15.5 points, placing them 32nd in the FBS.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am confident taking Virginia in this one. Virginia was selected by many to establish themselves as the top team in the ACC Coastal and they have looked great in their first two games. The Seminoles are coming off a disastrous 2018 season, and this season has also been a disappointment through two games. They lost to Boise State in week one, and they needed OT to defeat UL Monroe of the Sun Belt last week.

Furthermore, Florida State’s pass defense is very vulnerable and the Cavaliers have the weapons to exploit them. QB Bryce Perkins posted a 25:9 TD to INT ratio in 2018, and he has tallied two TD passes in each of the first two games. FSU has surrendered 648 passing yards in two games, and I expect a big game from Virginia QB Bryce Perkins.

Prediction: Virginia Cavaliers

Full-Game Total Pick

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The over is a strong option in this one. The Cavaliers should have no problem moving the ball with consistency against a defense that just surrendered 44 points (38 before OT) to UL Monroe. The over has been a reliable bet for the Seminoles. The over is 6-1 in FSU’s last seven games overall, and 4-0 in their last four road games.

In addition, I believe Virginia will contain James Blackmon, although FSU’s talented RB Cam Akers should find some open field which will result in points for the ‘Noles. Akers is enjoying a terrific start, accumulating over 300 rushing yards in two games. Also, consider the over is a convincing 9-0 in the Cavaliers’ last nine games after allowing less than 170 passing yards in their previous game.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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I expect a big game from the Virginia offense and a play on their team total offered on PointsBet is a great option. FSU just surrendered 44 points on their home field to UL Monroe of the Sun Belt, so they definitely cannot be trusted on the road against one of the better teams in the ACC. The Seminoles rank 119th in the FBS against the pass and 108th against the run through two games. Bryce Perkins should be able to pick apart the Seminoles poor pass defense.

Prediction: Virginia Team Total Over

Half-Time Prop Prediction

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I am opting with the over on the first-quarter total. Florida State has started strong in both games before fading as the game progressed. They scored 21 points in the first quarter against Boise State in week one, followed by 14 points in the opening quarter last week. Moreover, Virginia has scored 10 and 21 points respectively in the first quarter in their two contests. I expect a steady stream of offense throughout this one with an emphasis on points in the opening quarter.

Prediction: First Quarter Total Over

Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.