Point spread: Florida State -3
The Florida State Seminoles will look to upend the Notre Dame Fighting Irish when these two storied programs clash in this year’s Champs Sports Bowl from Orlando on Thursday, Dec. 29. The game is slated to get underway at 5:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Florida State began the season with high aspirations of winning the ACC and possibly contending for a national title, but reality quickly set in with an early season loss to Oklahoma that spiraled downward into an overall record of 8-4 straight-up and a 6-6 record against the spread. The total stayed ‘under’ in eight of its 12 games.
The Seminoles’ defense remained solid all season long and finished the year ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed; giving-up an average of just 15.2 a game. Their offense was another story as it was better than average moving the ball through the air, but lacked any punch when it came to moving it on the ground.
Notre Dame also came in with high expectations, but it opened the season with back-to-back losses to South Florida and Michigan and closed things out with a 28-14 loss to Stanford as a seven-point road underdog. The Irish finished the season 8-4 SU and 5-7 ATS. The total stayed ‘under’ in seven of their 12 games.
Similar to Florida State, the Fighting Irish also struggled with consistency on the offensive side of the ball. They scored a total of 27 points in their two games against ranked opponents this season while their defense gave-up a total of 59 points in the two losses. Overall, Notre Dame was ranked 43rd in the country in scoring and a respectable 28th in points allowed.
The Seminoles are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games and the total has stayed ‘under’ in their last six non-conference games.
The Fighting Irish are 2-6 ATS in their last eight bowl games. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 11 of their last 14 games against the ACC.
These two teams last met in 2003 with the Seminoles rolling to a 37-0 shutout as 12.5-point road favorites. While the final score will be much closer than that, stick with Florida State to come away with a victory that easily covers the three points in next Thursday’s matchup.
The Free Champs Sports Bowl Pick: Florida State 27 Notre Dame 17
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.