Florida State at Pittsburgh: What bettors need to know

Sep 1, 2013 |
Florida State at Pittsburgh: What bettors need to know
A strong spring saw Jameis Winston named starting QB at FSU.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
A strong spring saw Jameis Winston named starting QB at FSU.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Florida State Seminoles at Pittsburgh Panthers (+10, 49.5)

Florida State is steadily working its way back to perennial contender status and begins the 2013 campaign ranked No. 12 despite losing three first-round NFL draft picks and a slew of other contributors. The Seminoles begin their defense of the ACC Championship by visiting Pittsburgh on Monday. The Panthers are making their ACC debut after coming over from the remains of the Big East.

Quarterback EJ Manuel and defensive end Bjoern Werner are the two biggest losses on either side of the ball for Florida State, which has named redshirt freshman Jameis Winston the new starting quarterback after a strong spring. The Seminoles will ease Winston into the job with an experienced offensive line and a running game led by juniors Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. Pittsburgh is breaking in its own new quarterback, though senior Tom Savage does have some experience.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: Florida State opened as a 10-point road favorite and was bet as low as -9.5 before coming back to -10. The total opened at 49 and has bounced between the original number and 49.5.

Forecasts in Pittsburgh are calling for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms for this game. Temperatures will be in the low 70s

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (2012: 12-2, 7-1 ACC, 4-9 ATS): Winston beat out sophomore Jacob Coker in the spring and takes over an offense that was one of the best in the country behind Manuel last season. Helping Greene out in the passing game is junior wide receiver Rashad Greene, who led the team in receiving in each of his first two seasons. Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher lost 79 percent of his sack total on defense to the NFL draft but brings back most of the secondary, including six players that recorded at least one interception in 2012.

ABOUT PITTSBURGH (2012: 6-7, 3-4 Big East, 7-5-1 ATS): Savage was a two-year starter at Rutgers before a pair of transfers stalled his career. The Springfield, Penn., native threw for 2,732 yards and 16 touchdowns at Rutgers in 2009 and 2010 and will be dealing with two first-year starters on the offensive line when he makes his Panthers' debut on Monday. Pittsburgh got rolling at the end of the 2012 season, going 4-2 in its last six regular season games, and returns eight starters from a standout defense.


* Seminoles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
* Seminoles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
* Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
* Panthers are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 games in September.


1. The schools are meeting for the first time since 1983.

2. The Seminoles have not allowed a punt return for a touchdown in 154 games.

3. The Panthers’ top returning rusher is junior Isaac Bennett with just 378 career yards.

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