Can the 3rd-ranked Florida State Seminoles Pull Off Huge Upset in Regular Season Opener Against No. 1 Alabama?
Not only did Deshaun Watson and Clemson beat mighty Alabama to win last season’s national championship, more importantly, I believe the Tigers have given all of Alabama’s opponents moving forward, the perfect blueprint on how to beat the perennially powerful Crimson Tide. Of course, it’s going to take a gifted dual-threat signal-caller like Watson to pull off the feat – and the fact of the matter is that quarterbacks like the former Clemson superstar don’t grow just on trees every day.
Now, let’s find out if the Florida State Seminoles can duplicate Clemson’s championship game feat and pull off the huge upset over the Crimson Tide when they battle Alabama this coming Saturday, September 2, in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic, live from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
What Is the Florida State vs Alabama College Football Week 1 Spread?
The Las Vegas oddsmakers have listed the college football week 1 spread in favor of Alabama by 6.5-points to beat Florida State. The game total is 49.5.
Florida State vs. Alabama
When: Saturday, September 2 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Spread: Alabama -6.5
Why Bet the Florida State Seminoles Spread at +6.5
The good news however for the third-ranked Florida State Seminoles (10-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) heading into their regular season opener against Alabama is that they have just the kind of quarterback it needs in order to pull off the upset in gifted dual-threat signal-caller Deondre Francois.
As a redshirt freshman last season, the poised Francois completed a respectable 58.8 percent of his passes for 3,350 yards while tossing 20 touchdown passes and a modest seven interceptions. While the Noles did lose elite running back Dalvin Cook, No. 1 wide receiver Travis Rudolph and starting left tackle Rod Johnson to the NFL draft, they will now build around their star quarterback.
“The year he had, this guy’s a big-time player,” said head coach Jimbo Fisher, whose first three quarterbacks at Florida State (Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel and Jameis Winston), all went on to be first-round NFL Draft picks.
The Seminoles need to rebuild their offensive line but have plenty of talent at the skill positions if not much experience. Junior wideout Nyqwan Murray caught two touchdown passes against Michigan in the Orange Bowl and will be the new No. 1 this year while running backs Jacques Patrick averaged and highly-touted freshman Cam Akers combine to replace the departed Cook.
On the defensive side of the ball Florida State returns three starters on the defensive line and say they will have as much depth up front as any team in the nation, including Alabama. The Noles also return two senior starters at linebacker and have an All-American safety in Derwin James heading up a gifted secondary.
Why Bet the Alabama Crimson Tide Spread at -6.5
Alabama lost a whopping 10 players in the NFL draft, but they also have their own talented dual-threat signal-caller in sophomore Jalen Hurts, who will also play a bigger role in his team’s offensive scheme in 2017. However, it all starts with the rushing attack for Alabama and they should be as good as ever in that department behind their combination of Bo Scarborough (834 yards) and Damien Harris (1,136 yards). There is some concern with the passing attack losing wide receiver Ardarius Stewart and tight end O.J. Howard off to the NFL, leaving Calvin Ridley as the team’s only experienced pass-catcher.
Defensively, Alabama returns a modest six starters and need to find replacements for All-American defensive end Jonathan Allen and All-American linebacker Reuben Foster, as well as starting linebackers Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson and cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
The good news is that Alabama gets as much elite talent as any program in the nation and should be able to replace their departed stars with ease like they’ve done every year of the Saban era. Defensive linemen Da’Ron Payne and Da’Shawn Hand along with starting defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison and Anthony Averett will be expected to lead this coming season while Alabama’s younger starters find their way.
FSU vs BAMA Week 1 Expert Analysis and Prediction
I know Alabama is the prohibitive favorite to win this season’s national championship, but I also believe the Tide are vulnerable to getting beaten by a team like Clemson, which is why I’m going to advise you to back the Florida State Seminoles in this opener.
First and foremost, Deondre Francois is a near Deshaun Watson clone with his ability to make plays with both, his right arms and elusive running ability. Second, I think Florida State’s defense could give Jalen Hurts and Alabama’s mostly inexperienced offense, especially at the receiving positions, a very tough way to go in this contest.
While Alabama has gone 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games, Florida State is a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and an identical 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. The Noles are also an encouraging 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against teams from the SEC and 3-0 ATS in their last three games as an underdog of 6.5 points or less.
Maybe it’s me, but this neutral site showdown looks like the perfect setting for Clemson and their Deshaun Watson-like ‘clone’ to jump all over Alabama. Florida State gets it done with the outright win.
Pick: Florida State 30 Alabama 28