Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#367 Louisville vs.
#368 Florida State (FSU)
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 3:30pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

The Louisville Cardinals will head to Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday for their Atlantic Coast Conference season opener against the winless Florida State Seminoles.

Following back-to-back wins, the Cardinals will try to carry their momentum into their first conference game of the season this week. Louisville is fresh off of earning a hard-fought comeback win versus UCF last weekend to improve to 2-1 through three games. Meanwhile, Florida State is still searching for its first win of the 2021 season after going 0-3, including an unforgiving home loss versus Jacksonville State.

Can the Seminoles earn their first win of the season at home against ACC Atlantic Division rival Louisville on Saturday afternoon?

Cunningham carries Louisville to win over UCF

Louisville stunned UCF with a 42-35 win at home last week behind a late pick-six by freshman linebacker Jaylin Alderman. Malik Cunningham threw for 265 yards with one touchdown and one interception while adding a team-high 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the win. Cunningham put together a gutsy performance, helping Louisville outgain UCF 501 to 420 on the day. H-back Marshon Ford also had his best game of the season, catching eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Cunningham has made strides as a passer this season but he remains one of the most lethal dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. The 6-foot-1 Alabama-native currently leads all FBS quarterbacks with six rushing touchdowns and he now has 24 rushing touchdowns for his career. Through three games this season, Cunningham has carried the Cardinals offense, throwing for 734 yards with three touchdowns and only two interceptions.

On defense, Louisville has surrendered 27.0 points and 406.7 yards of total offense per contest The Cardinals defense will be tested against the run this week against a Florida State team that generates more than half of its total offense on the ground. Louisville comes in allowing 162 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 86th in the nation.

Travis' status up in the air for Florida State

Following a pair of heartbreaking losses, Florida State suffered its worst defeat of the season last week, losing on the road 35-14 at Wake Forest. McKenzie Milton completed 11 of 16 passes for 119 yards and two interceptions while Ontaria Wilson caught three passes for a team-high 91 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Backup quarterback Jordan Travis came in to give the Seminoles a boost, completing 5 of 6 passes for 107 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on the day.

While Travis played well, he missed the end of last week’s contest with a shoulder injury. It’s not clear if Travis will be available this weekend, which means that freshman Chubba Purdy could be the team’s backup under center against Louisville. For the season, Milton has thrown for only 300 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

On defense, Florida State has given up 32 points per game and 421.7 yards of total offense per contest.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Louisville was lucky to escape with a win after last week’s pick-six versus UCF but the Cardinals could be walking into a letdown spot here. Florida State will be amped up and ready to get its first win of the season after having its worst game of the year against Wake Forest. Even if Travis is sidelined, Florida State should be able to move the ball on the ground in this game. After Louisville’s gutsy performance last week, look for the Cardinals to fall short on the road in Tallahassee on Saturday. Take Florida State to cover the spread in this ACC battle this weekend.

Prediction: Florida State Seminoles +1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Points should come early and often for both squads in this one. In two games against Power 5 teams this season, Louisville has given up at least 35 points. The same goes for Florida State, which gave up 35 points to Wake Forest last week and 41 points to Notre Dame in the opener. With Cunningham seemingly healthy, the Louisville offense should be able to pick up where it left off last week. Take this game to go over the projected total at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.

Prediction: Over 61

Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.