Orange Bowl - Miami, Fla.
Tuesday, January 1, 5:30 pm PT - ESPN
Northern Illinois vs. Florida State
Florida State -15 O/U 56.5
Florida State -13 O/u 58.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating:
Florida State -13
The Orange Bowl is the last game on the board on New Year's Day. This is important to note, as the public after a long day of betting five bowl games including the much maligned Rose Bowl, (which is right before the Orange Bowl) will surely come in and get involved in this late night contest. Florida State is an obvious college football power house and we expect them to get the late money. Therefore if you fancy the Seminoles in this game, perhaps you should bet them now at -13. Conversely, if you like Northern Illinois wait until after the Rose Bowl and you just might get plus two touchdowns. The early money has come in against Florida State; they opened -15 and the market players quickly scooped up the underdog at +14 or better.
There are conflicting opinions by handicappers as to motivation and who wants this game more. Florida State won the ACC Championship and gets to play in their home state. They'll have the home field advantage, however sometimes teams, coaches and players would rather play out of town and be rewarded for their season. Now by winning their conference championship they are rewarded with a game against the MAC Conference title winner Northern Illinois, a team that many do not know let alone could believe they could qualify for a BCS Bowl. On the other hand, the Huskies have been bashed by the media – especially by ESPN's panel of college football “experts” – that they do not belong here, not in the BCS and certainly not playing a team the caliber of Florida State in a New Year's Day bowl game. I think this is a key motivating factor for the Huskies and that they will be inspired to show that they are a quality program and can play with the big boys. Florida State was picked by many to be a national championship contender. They finished the season with an 11-2 record, losing to NC State, Florida and narrowly beating a weak Georgia Tech squad in the ACC title game. With the exception of Clemson, the ACC had a lot of teams that underachieved this season. The Seminoles were a money losing machine 4-9 against the spread, covering just one of their last five games. This team didn’t turn out to be a #1 title contender, but rather a squad that played to their competition. They were favored in every single game and by just winning close games were a solid go against play. As a -13 point chalk here, I have to agree with the line move downward.
Even though Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren has left for NC State, offensive coordinator Rod Carey takes over – he’s was the brains behind the spread attack that the Huskies have showcased this season. Carey has done a superb job with quarterback Jordan Lynch who finished third in the nation in total offense and is a serious duel threat to score running or passing. The Seminoles lost popular defensive coordinator Mark Stoops who will be the head coach at Kentucky. Florida State's defense ranks second in the country, but that ranking is suspect due to the poor play of the ACC and annihilating two weak FCS opponents early in the season. We have seen Florida State rarely knocks out their opponent and we envision the Huskies to be competitive for the entire game.