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Louisville vs. Florida State Betting Odds and Best Bets
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The Cardinals are licking their wounds after a loss to rival Kentucky last week, their first loss in five games and just their second all season. They come to Charlotte 10-2 overall, an even 6-6 ATS with the over cashing seven times. Florida State is off an uneven performance in their win over Florida, but they won, bringing them to a perfect 12-0 overall and keeping their playoff chances alive. The Seminoles are 7-5 ATS but have only covered once in their last four, which came last week as the spread was deflated due to quarterback concerns. The over has hit at the same 7-5 rate.
Louisville vs. Florida State Betting Odds for ACC Championship
Spread: Florida State -1.5 (BetMGM), Louisville +2.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Total: 47.5 (Caesars Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Florida State -122 (DraftKings Sportsbook); Louisville +105 (ESPN Bet)
We'll start with the total, which as of Thursday evening, is universal in both its number and odds. It's on a steady decline since opening considerably higher at 53.0 with clear questions abound regarding Florida State's quarterback play.
But holy cow have we seen a huge spread shift. This game opened at FSU -6 and is all the way down to just above a pick 'em. FanDuel still offered the Cardinals at +2.5 Thursday evening, but there was nearly no disparity in their moneyline odds compared to other books, suggesting it's going to follow the downward trend.
And as expected, the 'Noles have gone from -218 to -122 to win outright, with the Cardinals' odds falling from +180 to +105. Kudos to you if you're backing the Cardinals and had the wherewithal to get in early. I understand the skittishness on Florida State, but that's as serious a line movement as I've seen all season.
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Louisville vs. Florida State Betting Picks for ACC Championship
The storyline, and line movement, is 100 percent about FSU QB Tate Rodemaker, both his health and his unimpressive performance last week at Florida, where he didn't throw a touchdown pass and completed only 48 percent of his throws. Prior to Jordan Travis' injury two weeks ago, Rodemaker had thrown eight passes this season, so I'm not exactly sure what people expected in his first start, on the road, against a rival. He was briefly knocked out of the game due to a targeting penalty, and looked woozy before reentering. There are internet whispers that something may have been discovered post game/during the week, and that Brock Glenn has taken heavy first-team reps, but for now everything is unconfirmed.
Louisville, meanwhile, beat themselves against Kentucky, with two costly fumbles allowing the Wildcats to seize momentum, as well as a special team's blunder for a kickoff return score. Kentucky ran only two plays in the third quarter; but scored two touchdowns!
The easy bets here are the Cardinals and the under. Both teams have good to great defenses, and the Cardinals are obviously more battle tested with Jack Plummer at QB and Jawhar Jordan and Isaac Guerendo anchoring the ground game. And I'd probably have backed that before this heavy downward line movement. But I also can't get over the fact that Louisville lost to lowly Pittsburgh and hasn't really impressed outside of beating Notre Dame. They're well coached, and Jeff Brohm will find ways to target and score against the 'Noles defense. But I can't get there overall with the Cardinals. Rodemaker will have another week of reps and the staff another week to find ways to make him comfortable. And if it's Glenn, the only question is inexperience. All accounts are he's been impressive, has a recruiting pedigree and a moxy to him. They need style points to convince the committee they are still worthy of a playoff spot, and there's a massive talent advantage for FSU. With the spread so low, I'm not even going to mess with that, give me the 'Noles to emerge victorious even with the lower juice.
Louisville vs. Florida State Best Bet: FLORIDA STATE (ML) at DraftKings Sportsbook
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Louisville vs. Florida State Predictions for ACC Championship
I look for Mike Norvell to simplify this early and take shots as the game progresses. Get the ball to your skill players, where there's a solid advantage. Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson are massive targets who pose matchup challenges if Rodemaker or Glenn can just be remotely accurate. RB Trey Benson put this team on his back last week in Gainesville, and while the Louisville front is difficult to run against, Miami and Georgia Tech found success, and I expect FSU to do so in spurts as well. Additionally, Lawrance Toafili is a dangerous pass catcher out of the backfield and should be heavily involved.
Louisville's run game is stout, but the receiving corps leaves something to be desired, particularly with Jamari Thrash not being 100 percent. FSU has the edge at tight end as well, and potentially a massive advantage at kicker, where Ryan Fitzgerald has missed one kick to date and none from 30 yards or more out. Louisville has rotated kickers over the last two games, and, given the narrow margin for error, it's a major concern.
FLORIDA STATE 23-20.