NCAAF

Louisville-Florida State: Spread, Total, Breakdown and Best Bet for ACC Championship Game

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
Louisville-Florida State: Spread, Total, Breakdown and Best Bet for ACC Championship Game

For only the second time in the past nine years, we will see an Atlantic Coast Conference title game that does not feature the Clemson Tigers.

In 2023, the Louisville Cardinals and Florida State Seminoles will head to Charlotte, NC to hash out this season's ACC football champion. Of course, undefeated Florida State is no stranger to conference crowns, as the 'Noles have won four through five previous ACC Championship Game appearances since 2005. In regards to the Cardinals, this will be their inaugural showing -- can UL go one-for-one?

For each school, it will be greater than a 440-mile trip to Bank of America Stadium in "Queen City." Still, both fan bases are expected to show out with pride and energy. However, this contest will be missing a fair bit of electricity, as dynamic FSU quarterback Jordan Travis went down for the season with a lower leg injury just two weeks ago.

It is time to separate the pretenders from the contenders. Let's dive into the odds and lines for the upcoming conference title game, keeping the emphasis on the most valuable of the traditional betting markets.

All college football odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

ACC Championship Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline and Total

Kickoff: Saturday (Dec. 2), 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

Spread: Florida State -2.5 (-122)

Moneyline:

  • Louisville: +115
  • Florida State: -138

Total: 48.5 (-105/-115)

Louisville vs. Florida State Analysis

Headed to the Carolina Panthers' digs in Uptown Charlotte, Florida State is one of four remaining Power 5 schools with an undefeated 12-0 record. Across the field, Louisville has produced a thriving campaign of its own, playing to a 10-2 clip. Remember, this is the Cardinals' first year under head coach Jeff Brohm.

As Louisville's native son (and former star quarterback for the Cards), Brohm has put great pride into his current role. His homecoming comes after six seasons as HC for the Purdue Boilermakers. In 2023, the Cardinals have already posted their highest win total of the past 10 years.

On the other side, the Seminoles are a program that warrants annual expectations. Officially, Florida State boasts three national titles (all of which occurred after joining the ACC in 1992), winning their most recent in 2013 under Jameis Winston and Jimbo Fisher. Still, FSU has been rebuilding under head coach Mike Norvell, and the results have been prevalent.

When Norvell took over the 'Noles in 2020, they had been below .500 in back-to-back seasons. Since then, FSU has more resembled the dominant program we are used to seeing. Over the past two years combined, Florida State has accumulated a 22-3 record. Does that mean they are ready to win their first ACC title since 2014?

From a schematics standpoint, Louisville demands respect on both sides of the ball. This season, the Cards have well outscored their opponents, producing 33.0 PPG compared to 20.0 PPG allowed (25th in FBS). They will need to fire on all cylinders if hoping to upset the 'Noles, especially with UL coming off of a loss.

Cardinals quarterback Jack Plummer has done well since arriving in Kentucky this year via transfer from the California Golden Bears. The senior signal-caller has tossed 21 touchdowns for Louisville in 2023, which matches his career high. Regardless, against FSU, Plummer will need to prepare for his toughest defensive challenge yet.

In this campaign, Florida State's defense has been incredibly stingy. They are surrendering just 16.8 PPG through a dozen games in 2023. As the energy leader on D, linebacker Kalen DeLoach has had an explosive season. DeLoach's yearly line features 63 tackles (10.5 TFL), 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a scoop-n-score (which came at Clemson). Plummer will have to keep an eye out for the gifted pass rusher all game.

When the matchup is reciprocated, it will also be fun to see FSU's offense go at UL's defense. As noted, the Seminoles must trek on without star quarterback Jordan Travis (27 total TDs in 2023). In his place will be junior Tate Rodemaker. Through spot work this year, Rodemaker shows a 5:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Last week, he managed Florida State into a victory over the rival Florida Gators last weekend.

Rodemaker's job has been made easier by talented offensive skill players in Trey Benson and Keon Coleman. Benson has scored 15 touchdowns this season while also averaging a booming 6.1 yards per carry. As for Coleman, the 6-foot-4 receiver has hauled in 11 scores of his own in 2023. Genuinely, I think those two players provide the edge for Florida State on Saturday.

Louisville vs. Florida State Best Bet

Florida State ML (-138)

For the early portion of the week, FSU has held sturdy as 2.5-point favorites. Right now, the chalk is juiced to -122 odds against the spread (ATS), which is really not far off the Seminoles' ML price of -138. Here, I am letting the numbers guide my selection -- give me Florida State straight up.

The 'Noles will obviously not be in top gear with Travis sidelined indefinitely, but I think their offense (and offensive line) still boasts enough talent to get by Louisville. Considering FSU is averaging 156.3 rushing yards per game, I believe that aspect travels to Charlotte.

Also, we should not ignore the fact that the Seminoles still have a quality shot at the upcoming College Football Playoff -- especially since they are back inside the CFP top four prior. At FanDuel Sportsbook, FSU shows -148 odds to qualify. For that to happen, they absolutely cannot slip up against a hungry Louisville team.

At numberFire, the power rankings have Florida State at ninth in FBS. As for the Cardinals, they chime in further down at 21st. Additionally, numberFire's game projections yield an estimated score of 27.63-25.37 in favor of the 'Noles. That difference nearly mirrors the spread of 2.5.

With that being a little too close for comfort, I will play it slightly safer by hopping on FSU's moneyline (-134).


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.