How fired up will Florida State be on Saturday in its home opener against UL Monroe after the Seminoles lost to No. 1 Alabama last week and also saw starting quarterback Deondre Francois go down with a season-ending injury? The odds for this Week 2 matchup give FSU the victory by far. It’s highly unlikely these NCAAF odds will change. Also, this game was moved from 7 p.m. ET to noon because of Hurricane Irma.
Louisiana-Monroe at FSU NCAAF Odds, Expert Analysis & Pick for Week 2WatchESPNRadio: 540 AM (Louisiana-Monroe) / WWOF 103.1 FM (FSU)Opening NCAAF Odds: FSU -33.5 (53)
- Partly Cloudy: 28°C/83°F
- Humidity: 48%
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- Wind: 14 mph NE
- Cloud Cover: 53%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why Bet On ULM?The Warhawks lost 37-29 last week to Memphis. Trailing 30-7 midway through the third quarter, ULM scored TDs on three of its last four possessions to make for an entertaining fourth quarter. The Warhawks and Tigers committed a combined six turnovers, as both teams struggled to manage the challenging weather conditions, created by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.The ULM defense played a key role in the second-half comeback, limiting the Tigers to just six first downs and 72 rushing yards. The Warhawks produced 17 first downs and 246 total yards in the second half. ULM outgained Memphis in total yards, 425-416, while converting 7-of- 10 on third downs and going a perfect 2-for- 2 on fourth downs. The Warhawks possessed the ball for 21:02 in the second half.Garrett Smith completed 10-of- 17 throws for 171 yards with one score and one interception, while Caleb Evans connected on 11-of- 20 passes for 108 yards and one TD. Smith accounted for 219 yards total offense, including 12 rushes for a team-best 48 yards. Xavier Brown led the Warhawk receiving corps with five catches for 41 yards and a score.
How Well Has Coach Viator Done With the Warhawks?Head coach Matt Viator is in his second year with Louisiana-Monroe and looks to build upon his inaugural season record of 4-8. With only eight seniors on its preseason roster, Louisiana Monroe features one of the youngest teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. Saturday’s probable starting lineup lists just four seniors, two on each side of the football (offense: left guard Frank Sutton Jr. and wide receiver Brian Williams; defense: defensive end Caleb Tucker and field corner Juwan Offray).The Seminoles and Warhawks have played each other just one time in program history: in 2011 when then FSU quarterback EJ Manuel led the ’Noles to a 34-0 victory, Florida State held ULM to 191 yards of total offense and prevented them from reaching the red zone. The Warhawks have compiled a 4-4 record (.500) against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (0-1 vs. Clemson, 0-1 vs. Florida State, 2-2 vs. Louisville and 2-0 vs. Wake Forest). ULM’s last win over an ACC opponent came against Wake Forest, 17-10, in the 2014 season and home opener.
Why Bet On FSU?This won’t be close if FSU pays attention, but it begins life without Francois. With about six minutes left in last week’s 24-7 loss to the Tide, Francois was sacked from behind by Crimson Tide safety Ronnie Harrison, which caused a patellar tendon injury in Francois’ left knee. He had surgery Tuesday and the timeline for his recovery is 4-7 months.Francois started from Day 1 last year as a redshirt freshman and completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 3,350 yards (most of any FBS freshman) and 20 touchdowns. He also rushed for 198 yards and five scores. It’s a crushing loss because Francois was going to be the focal point of the offense in 2017 with All-American running back Dalvin Cook now in the NFL.Even after Alabama kicked a 33-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to increase its lead to 24-7 over Florida State last Saturday, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said he never thought once about running down the clock with a backup quarterback. Now the Seminoles are turning to a true freshman to start at quarterback for the first time since Chip Ferguson did in 1985: James Blackman.
How Was the Defense Against the Crimson Tide?Florida State held Alabama to 173 yards rushing and 96 yards passing, marking only the second time under Nick Saban the Crimson Tide were held under 200 rushing yards and 100 passing yards in the same game. The only other time Alabama failed to reach both of those benchmarks was Sept. 6, 2008, vs. Tulane when the Crimson Tide rushed for 99 yards and passed for 73 yards.Florida State is 7-0 in home openers under Fisher and has outscored opponents 372-52, an average score of 53.1-7.4, in those games. The Seminoles are 57-13 (.814) all-time in home openers, including a mark of 24-1 (.960) since joining the ACC. Under Fisher, Florida State is 42-6 (.875) inside Doak Campbell Stadium. In regular season non-conference games under Fisher, Florida State is 25-4 (.862), including a record of 18-2 (.900) inside Doak Campbell Stadium.
Latest NCAAF Odds Trends
- Louisiana-Monroe is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- Louisiana-Monroe is 5-19 SU in the last 24 games
- The total went OVER in 9 of Louisiana-Monroe’s last 10 games
- FSU is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- FSU is 5-1 SU in the last 6 games
- The total went UNDER in 7 of Florida State’s last 10 games