Now, let’s find out which one of the playoff-hopeful teams will get the ATS victory with these college football spreads.
Here’s a Closer Look At The Rebels Vs Seminoles Free Picks For Week 1When: Monday, September 5 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Odds: Florida State -6
Bet The Mississippi Rebels at +6 Because…The Mississippi Rebels have an elite quarterback and know how to win big games against elite opponents! Mississippi (10-3 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) had a fantastic season in 2015 by recording 10 wins and being the only team in all of college football to beat national champion Alabama. Now, head coach Hugh Freeze will look to lead his team to even greater heights, though he has to find replacements for a handful of stars that all went on to the NFL.
Despite losing a whopping four offensive linemen starters and gifted wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss returns six starters on offense, including surprisingly gifted quarterback Chad Kelly, a player that threw for a stellar 4,042 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. Kelly loses blind side protector Laremy Tunsil, but the Rebels are expecting true freshman Greg Little to come in and start right away, though concerns still exist along the offensive line.
At wide receiver, Ole Miss is looking for Washington transfer Damore’ea Stringfellow to improve on the 36 catches he recorded in his first season a year ago while getting a bigger contribution from senior tight end Evan Engram. Running backs Akeem Judd and Jordan Wilkins both averaged more than 5.0 yards per carry in backup roles last year and are expected to provide even more in 2016.
Defensively, Ole Miss lost a monster player in tackle Robert Nkemdiche and the return just five starters. Freeze must find a pair of new safeties and address what was a mediocre linebacker unit in 2015. Nevertheless, Ole Miss has recruited better than ever the last few seasons and has plenty of talent on the roster, even if they will be a bit inexperienced on the defensive side of the ball in 2016.
Bet The Florida State Seminoles at -6 Because…Florida State is playing at home and has a boatload of talent, starting with gifted running back Dalvin Cook! The Seminoles had a solid, but not overpowering offense in 2015, ranking 51st in the country in total offense (424.0 ypg) and 47th in scoring (31.6 ppg). More importantly, all 11 starters are back on offense for head coach Jimbo Fisher, including jaw-dropping tailback Dalvin Cook.
As a sophomore, Cook set a new school records for rushing yards (1,691) and all-purpose yards (1,935) in a single season. Along the way, Cook managed to average a whopping 7.4 yards per carry and 140.9 yards per game. Cook did all of this while battling myriad injuries and running behind an offensive line that was mediocre at best a year ago.
However, I expect both Cook and Florida’s State’s offensive line to be even better than they were in 2015. The wide receiver position is brimming with talent, leaving the big question mark at quarterback. Starter Sean Maguire is back for his senior season, but may not start after his underwhelming campaign a year ago. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois and true freshman Malik Henry will both challenge for the starting job, so this is a situation that bears watching.
The Seminoles were outstanding defensively in 2015, ranking 21st in total defense, (336.9 ypg) and a stellar ninth in points allowed (17.4 ppg). Fisher has seven returning starters from last year’s squad despite losing superstar All-American cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The good news is that the Seminoles have a pair of elite defensive ends in senior DeMarcus Walker (58 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks) and sophomore Josh Sweat, a former five-star recruit.
Senior Marquez White will man one starting cornerback spot while talented sophomores Tarvarus McFadden and Marcus Lewis battle for the other spot. The Noles do have question marks at linebacker after losing seniors Reggie Northrup and Terrance Smith, but Florida State recruits well and there is talent at the position, starting with projected starters Matthew Thomas and Ro’Derrick Hoskins.
Expert Pick & Final Score PredictionI really like Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher and gifted running back Dalvin Cook, but I think the Ole Miss Rebels to get the ATS while pressuring Florida State’s starting quarterback and getting a jaw-dropping performance from their own elite signal-caller, Chad Kelly.
While Florida State went 5-1 ATS in its final six games a year ago, Ole Miss went 2-2-1 ATS on the road and 1-0 ATS in their only game as an underdog last season. Mississippi was the only team in the country to beat national champion Alabama and I believe they’re going to kick off their 2016 campaign with another huge win!