Florida State vs. Georgia Tech Odds, Betting Pick & Prediction (Saturday, Sept. 12)
Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: James Blackman (1), Tamorrion Terry (15) and Cam Akers (3).
- Florida State is favored over Georgia Tech on Saturday as both teams open their 2020 seasons.
- FSU will make its debut under new coach Mike Norvell, while the Yellow Jackets look to build on some positive momentum after last season. They enter the year with plenty of returning production and continuity.
- Get our full breakdown and model projections for Florida State vs. Georgia Tech below.
Florida State vs. Georgia Tech Odds
|Florida State Odds||-13 [BET NOW]|
|Georgia Tech Odds||+13 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-590/+420 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||52 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
Florida State will inaugurate the Mike Norvell era in Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech. The former Memphis head coach will attempt to turn around a blue blood program that has fallen on hard times over the past few years.
On the other sideline, Georgia Tech is simply looking to improve in its second year under Geoff Collins after going 3-9 last season.
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Florida State Seminoles
Norvell installed a new fast-paced, pro-style system the minute he arrived in Tallahassee. His offensive scheme was extremely successful at Memphis, where the Tigers averaged 6.6 yards per play.
Earlier this week, redshirt junior quarterback James Blackman was named the Seminoles’ Week 1 starter. This will be Blackman’s fourth season as Florida State’s No. 1 QB. He has endured three head coaching changes during his college career, entering the program under Jimbo Fisher in 2017, then Odell Haggins, Willie Taggart and now Mike Norvell.
Blackman’s reward for his endurance through the Seminoles’ highly public and dysfunctional collapse over that span? The privilege to lead one of the most explosive offenses in the country.
Florida State ranked sixth in rushing explosiveness and fifth in passing explosiveness last season and returns 63% of its 2019 offensive production. The Seminoles said goodbye to running back Cam Akers this offseason as he pursued his professional dream of playing in the NFL. Nonetheless, the Seminoles’ characteristic explosiveness should carry over into the current season. Florida State still has a ton of talent at its skill positions. The ‘Noles bring back big-play receiver Tamorrion Terry, who averaged 19.8 yards per catch last season and has 17 touchdowns in his Seminole career.
Florida State also gets a much-needed boost at running back to soften the blow of losing Akers. Former Texas A&M running back Jashaun Corbin, who was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, transferred into the program during the offseason.
However, even though the Seminoles had one of the most explosive in the country last year, they lacked consistency, ranking 96th in rushing success and 99th in passing success. Norvell’s new offensive scheme should provide Blackman and the Seminoles’ experienced group of skill position players some more continuity in 2020.
Florida State’s defense had some real issues in 2019, ranking 66th in rushing success allowed and 98th in passing success allowed. The Seminoles tried to switch from a 4-3 to 3-4 base defense in 2019, but the results were just as bad as the previous season.
Florida State’s new defensive coordinator Adam Fuller reverted the defense back to a 4-3 to improve defensive continuity. All-American Marvin Wilson elected to return for the 2020 season to anchor the middle of the Seminoles defense. Wilson is an absolute monster in the middle of their defensive line and should be able to wreak havoc on Georgia Tech all afternoon long.
Is Marvin Wilson for FSU your #1 DT going into 2020? Haven't seen many boards where he's not. pic.twitter.com/Cq4PNNIklF
— CFB Home (@CFBHome) May 18, 2020
Florida State’s defensive line is solid; the Seminoles issues on defense primarily lie with their linebacking corps and secondary unit.
The Seminoles do return 83% of their defensive production from last season. So, Norvell is hoping that a change in coordinator and system can improve consistency in 2020.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Yellow Jackets experienced their share of growing pains in 2019 as the program pivoted from its longstanding commitment to the triple-option in favor of a more modern spread offensive scheme. Georgia Tech ranked 89th in rushing success and 125th in passing success, but the Yellow Jackets return 74% of their offensive production in 2020.
The biggest issue facing Georgia Tech as it switched from the triple-option was the team’s insufficient size and talent up front to compete in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets’ 2019 offensive line averaged only 264 pounds, which ranked dead-last in the ACC. That problem should carry over into this season, considering that Georgia Tech will face defensive linemen weighing more than 300 pounds on a weekly basis.
The Yellow Jackets’ second major problem as they made the switch to a spread offense was their inconsistent and ineffective quarterback play. All of the QBs on the roster were recruited with the expressed intent for them to be running quarterbacks, so throwing the ball downfield was a pervasive issue in 2019.
Georgia Tech hasn’t publicly named its starter for Saturday yet, but it looks like its going to be redshirt sophomore James Graham. Graham struggled in his eight starts last season, ranking last in the ACC in completion percentage (45.1%) and yards per attempt (6.03).
The Yellow Jackets’ running game could be their route to a somewhat successful offense this season. They upgraded their offensive line with Tennessee transfer Ryan Johnson and will get center Kenny Cooper back from injury.
Georgia Tech has two sophomore running backs (Jordan Mason and Jamious Griffin) who ran the ball well at times last year. However, they will have a tough time running through the Seminoles’ stout defensive line that averages 310 pounds across the board.
The Yellow Jackets will have some more continuity on defense in 2020, as they return 94% of their production from last season.
However, that may not be particularly positive news for Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets defense ranked 92nd in rushing success and 102nd in passing success last season. Similar to their issues on the offensive line, the Yellow Jackets lack the size up front to compete with Florida State in this matchup. Last season, they averaged only 262 pounds on their defensive line (12th in ACC) and 215 pounds in their linebacking corps (14th in ACC).
That size discrepancy allowed opposing teams to run the ball at will against them in 2019. The Yellow Jackets ranked 116th in defensive line yards, 130th in defensive power success, and 117th in stuff rate.
Florida State averages 305 pounds on its offensive line, so the Seminoles should be able to control the line of scrimmage.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Although Florida State was inconsistent in 2019, I think Norvell will be able to turn things around in Tallahassee. Moreover, the size differences in the trenches is too big of a mismatch to ignore in this game.
I have the Seminoles projected at -18.32 in this matchup, so I think there is plenty of value on them at -13 (DraftKings). This line opened at -11 and is on the move in Florida State’s favor. I would play this game up to -14.5 but would reconsider my betting position if the spread drifts to -15 or further.
Pick: Florida State -13 (play up to -14.5)