The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals (10-2) meet No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (12-0) Saturday night in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Cardinals enter this matchup coming off a 38-31 home loss to rival Kentucky for their only ACC loss. Meanwhile, the Seminoles lost Heisman Trophy hopeful Jordan Travis with a knee injury but still found a way to defeat Florida by nine points in their most recent matchup.
Who will be named ACC Champion? Find out when I preview and offer a free pick for Louisville vs. Florida State on Saturday, December 2.
Louisville vs. Florida State Best Bet
We have a great game on tap for Saturday night. Two nationally ranked teams chasing a championship is always fun, and this one should be a cracker of a matchup.
Florida State was given a hard road when Travis was lost for the season. Luckily, the Seminoles have junior signal-caller Tate Rodemaker in the system. Still, the offense didn’t look that impressive in its 24-15 away victory last Saturday over arch-rival Florida.
Rodemaker threw for 217 yards with a pair of scoring strikes against North Alabama but came down to earth against the Gators, throwing for just 134 yards against Florida. The Gators defense posed a stiff challenge to Rodemaker and he might face a stiffer one when he faces the 57th-ranked Cardinals passing defense.
The Cardinals passing defense allowed only 206 yards but the three scoring strikes were their undoing last week at home against Devin Leery and Kentucky. That unit allowed 13 passing TDs before getting lit up by Leery, and that defensive group is also 12th against the rush, which could be problematic for 1000+ rusher Jawhar Jordan.
If the Seminoles are to win this game, they’ll need their 12th-best defense to step up big. They stymied an above-average Gators offense, but Louisville averages 32 points per game, and the only thing slowing down Louisville, Jordan, quarterback Jack Plummer, or wideout Jamari Thrash.
Finally, I’m backing Louisville to win straight up. The neutral field makes things essentially a pick-em, and I like this Cardinals’ defense against Rodemaker. The Cardinals average nearly three sacks per game, and Rodemaker will be running for his life. The Louisville offense will benefit from at least one turnover and find the endzone enough to win this game.
My Best Bet: Louisville ML (+120) at DraftKings Kentucky
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