Free Independence Bowl Prediction: Golden Eagles vs Seminoles Odds
Looking for Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Florida State Seminoles free picks? Independence Bowl betting sees the Golden Eagles taking on the Seminoles Saturday December 27th at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football bowl season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Southern Miss Florida State free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Independence Bowl
(8-4) Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Florida State Seminoles (6-6)
Date: Wednesday, December 27th
Time: 1:30 pm EST
Venue: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
NCAA Football Spread: FSU -15.5
NCAA Betting Total: 48.5
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Late December’s Independence Bowl will represent the close of a challenging season for the Florida State Seminoles, though there is hope with new head coach Willie Taggart at the helm.
With previous coach Jimbo Fisher – one that guided the program to heights not achieved since the turn of the millennium – choosing greener pastures (literally, he’ll be making more cash than anyone not named Nick Saban) at Texas A&M, it’s up to Taggart to get FSU’s offense back in line and shoot them back up the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. In the meantime, the ‘Noles will believe they still have the horses to best the lower-prestige conference Southern Miss Golden Eagles even when they aren’t at their best.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
The Eagles put together a nice little 8-4 campaign in 2017, good enough to meet one of the more prestigious college football programs in the country during bowl season.
For a program that has often been known for little more than being the alma mater of legendary Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Brett Favre, the Eagles’ eight wins must be considered a success. Southern Miss finished tied for second in the Conference-USA West division with the resurgent Alabama-Birmingham program, which made for a great narrative this year. A 6-2 conference record and finishing one win shy of division-winning North Texas is nothing to sneeze at.
The Eagles have made things happen with two dominant skill-position players in RB Ito Smith (1,321 yards, 13 TDs and adding 36 receptions for 360 receiving yards) and WR Korey Robertson (72 catches, 1,070 yards, 11 TDs). Southern Miss has utilized that duo to compile passing and rushing offenses ranking in the top half nationally to pair with a respectable defensive unit. The Eagles also eagerly await the arrival of CB Jemaurian Jones, a highly-touted freshman who committed in his home state for 2018. It is fair to say the arrow is pointing upward in Hattiesburg.
Florida State Seminoles
It says enough about the program that a .500 season is considered an abject disaster that drives an iconic head coach and requires the reset button in Tallahassee. A 6-6 campaign does not adequately represent the talent on FSU’s roster, which is why Southern Miss is likely in tough in Louisiana on the 27th.
It’s fair to say, however, that Taggart’s harping on mixing up the offense is not falling on deaf ears. The ‘Noles averages in passing, rushing and points scored near the bottom of not just the ACC, but the entire Bowl Subdivision. Despite finishing second-last in the ACC’s Atlantic division, FSU is in good form lately, albeit with slaughtering two lousy programs in Delaware State and Louisiana-Monroe and a skeleton Florida Gators squad. Still, when you’ve struggled like the Seminoles have in 2017, wins are wins, and FSU is trending in the right direction at least and should likely get a boost with the good vibes from their new head coach.
Florida State could open up a truly large margin if it gets a dynamic performance out of DE Josh Sweat, who had 5.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss on the season. If the ‘Noles can force some turnovers due to pressure, look for a healthy dose of freshman RB Cam Akers, who put up 930 yards and seven TDs in his maiden campaign.
Free Independence Bowl NCAA Football Pick
The Golden Eagles have been impressive and could yield some large gains on a merely average Seminoles defense this year – a unit that is generally among the toast of college football. Still, I expect the embarrassment of riches on the Florida State recruiting trail to eventually catch up to Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl, and gradually bite them in the backside.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Florida State -14.
Florida State’s season really went off the rails when starting QB Deondre Francois went down with a season-ending injury. Replacement James Blackman has been, well, exactly that – replacement level.
Yet, football talent throughout the roster – on both lines and up and down the defense – should permit the cream to rise to the top in Shreveport. The Eagles may score some points, but I think the Seminoles will continue their recent strong form and cap the 2017 season off with a bowl victory.
Independence Bowl Free Score Prediction: Florida State 28 – Southern Miss 17
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