Ole Miss is a dangerous dog under head coach Hugh Freeze, going 7-8 straight up and 11-4 against the spread when getting points during his tenure. But the underdog Rebels will have their hands full when they take on one of the favorites to win the championship this season, Florida State, in the season opener for both teams Monday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Point spread: The Seminoles opened as five-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (see line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 34.4-34.4 tie
Why the Ole Miss Rebels can cover the spread
The Rebels return 10 starters from a team that came one crazy play away from playing in the SEC Championship Game last year. Along the way, Ole Miss beat Alabama and later bombed Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl, but that 4th-and-25 against Arkansas will live in infamy throughout Reb Nation.
Five starters are back on offense, led by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Chad Kelly (65 percent completions, 31 TD, 13 INT, plus 500 yards rushing last season), and five starters are back on defense, including linebacker DeMarquis Gates, who led the team in tackles last year while starting only four games.
The Rebels played as dogs once last season; they beat the Tide outright in Tuscaloosa 43-37.
Why the Florida State Seminoles can cover the spread
Florida State goes off this season as one of the most likely suspects to make the College Football Playoff. The Seminoles return 17 starters from a team that went 10-3 last year. All 11 are back on offense, led by Heisman candidate running back Dalvin Cook (1,691 yards at 7.4 yards per carry last season) and, of course, the entire offensive line. And six starters are back on a defense that held foes to 337 yards and 18 points a game.
Florida State struggled through a tough campaign last year, thanks in part to some poor health, but it has big plans for this season; it’s CFP or bust, right from the start.
The Seminoles have almost all the ingredients in place for a championship run. And while they will start redshirt freshman Deondre Francois at quarterback, he has plenty of help. Plus, this game is being played at a “neutral” site, which takes a couple of points off the spread for FSU. Mississippi, meanwhile, even with Kelly, might be ripe for a regression. The smart money here sides with the Seminoles.
The total has gone under in nine of Mississippi’s last 10 games.
The total has gone under in eight of Florida State’s last 12 games.
Mississippi is 4-0 ATS in its last four games as an underdog of four points or more.
All point spread and betting lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Odds Shark on Twitter and YouTube for injury information, line-movement updates and more game analysis, and get the free odds tracker app.
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Source: Bleacher Report-ACC Football