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Week 14: Florida St. vs. Virginia Tech Preview & Pick

Florida Seminoles vs Virginia Tech Hokies Gambling Preview + Predictions

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Week 14: Florida State vs Virginia Tech Preview & Pick

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Broadcast: ESPN, ESPN 3D
Florida State Seminoles vs Virginia Tech Hokies Betting Lines from BetUS.com
Money Line: OFF
Spread: Virginia Tech -4.5
Over/Under: 52.5
Bet Now @ Betus.com!

(20 Florida State Seminoles (9-3)

No one will mistake the Florida State Seminoles for a perfect football team, but they deserve credit for scratching and clawing their way into the ACC title game. They closed their season by beating Clemson, winning at Maryland and, last week, exorcising their Florida demons with a 31-7 victory over the Gators.

Offensively, Florida State has primarily gotten the job done by running the ball, ranking 35th in the nation with 179.9 yards per game. But last week against Florida was different. The Seminoles averaged just 2.7 yards per carry and had to defer to quarterback Christian Ponder. He responded with one of his tidiest games of the season, going 16 of 24 for 221 yards and three touchdowns.

The Seminoles have to be encouraged by the performance, as they may have to lean on Ponder again this week. Jermaine Thomas and Ty Jones, two of their top three rushers, are questionable to play. If they do suit up, they likely won’t be 100 per cent. The problem here is that FSU would be better off going run-heavy against Virginia Tech; the Hokies are 61st in rushing defense and 28th in pass defense. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

(12) Virginia Tech Hokies (10-2)

Over the last 10 weeks, one team after another has tried to stop the freight train that is Virginia Tech. None has succeeded. The Hokies’ winning streak has reached 10 games. During that run, they’ve scored 40 or more points five times and allowed 10 points or fewer four times. They’ve been absolutely dominant. Also, they’ve been great for bettors, going 9-1 against the spread during the streak.

While Tyrod Taylor has really matured as a passer this season, throwing for 20 touchdowns versus four interceptions, Virginia Tech’s real bread and butter is its dominant rushing attack. Between Taylor, Darren Evans, David Wilson and Ryan Williams, the Hokies have four players with at least 400 rushing yards and four touchdowns. They seem to take turns playing the star each week.

The pick:

With FSU’s offense not at full strength – Ponder is also playing through an elbow injury – the Seminoles could have a tough time scoring on Virginia Tech. The bigger question is whether or not they can keep Virginia Tech off the board.

On paper, Florida State has been solid against the run this season, ranking 28th. They’ve also been particularly stingy during their three-game winning streak, allowing just 10 points per game. But a trend in their wins over Clemson, Maryland and Florida scares me.

Despite winning those games, FSU allowed and 152 rushing yards to Clemson, 163 rushing yards to Maryland and 212 rushing yards against Florida. They’re getting worse against the run for some reason. I therefore don’t like their chances to stop Virginia Tech’s run-oriented offense.

Also, with the spread at just 4.5 points, is this even a hard decision? Virginia Tech has been as good as any team in the country from Week 3 on. The Hokies should get what they deserve this Saturday: an ACC championship.

Florida State vs Virginia Tech prediction: Virginia Tech 28, Florida State 20

Money Line: OFF
Spread: Virginia Tech -4.5
Over/Under: UNDER 52.5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.