Ole Miss vs FSU College Football Week 1 Free Pick & Odds
Arguably the best opening weekend of college football ever, in terms of marquee matchups, closes on the Labor Day Night holiday in the USA with maybe the best of all the matchups in Week 1: No. 11 Ole Miss at No. 4 Florida State in Orlando. The loser here will have a long road to get to the College Football Playoff. FSU is favored on college football odds for the neutral-site matchup.
Let’s Take a Look at the Ole Miss vs FSU College Football Free Pick, Odds & TV Info
Ole Miss vs FSU Historic Betting Trends
Orlando wanted to get in on these big neutral-site games in Week 1 and the city is planning to host such a game every year going forward. This is being called the Camping World Kickoff, held at the former Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. It’s the first time an SEC team will play a regular-season game in Orlando since 1991 when Florida routed Mississippi State. Ole Miss has never played in Orlando. It’s the sixth game for Florida State in Orlando and it has Memphis State (1990), Notre Dame (1994), Duke (1995) and Wake Forest (1996) while tying Stetson (1952). Ole Miss and FSU have played once and it was back in 1961 as the Rebels rolled 33-0 at home.
Why Bet on Ole Miss?
The Rebels have the best returning quarterback in the SEC and a Heisman Trophy candidate returning in Chad Kelly, the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer and Bills legend Jim Kelly. Last season, Chad Kelly broke numerous school records, picked up more yards in SEC history than anyone not named Johnny Manziel, and led Ole Miss to its first Sugar Bowl victory since 1970.
Kelly led the SEC in passing (310.9 ypg, 10th in nation), total offense (349.4 ypg, 7th in nation), passing touchdowns (31, 9th in nation) and points responsible for (246, 7th in nation). He also ranked top 20 nationally in passing efficiency (155.9), completion percentage (65.1), completions per game (22.9) and yards per pass attempt (8.83). Kelly broke the 300-yard barrier against both Alabama and Auburn in the same year which had only been done by two other QBs over the past decade (Manziel and Matt Flynn). Kelly threw 64 completions for 20+ yards, ranking second in the Power 5 behind only the No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff.
Kelly brings back a terrific tight end in Evan Engram. In only three seasons, Engram already holds the Ole Miss all-time records for receptions (97) and receiving yards (1,394) by a tight end. He ranks fifth among all Rebel tight ends with seven career touchdown catches.
The defense is led by senior defensive back Tony Conner, who was limited to five games in 2015 due to injury. He was a Freshman All-America in 2013. In 31 career games, Conner has racked up 152 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss.
Why Bet on Florida State?
The Seminoles are my choice to play for the national championship and the only regular-season game I think they can lose is against Clemson in late October. FSU brings back every starter on offense, led by Heisman Trophy candidate RB Dalvin Cook. Last year as a sophomore, Cook won the Jim Brown Award – given to the nation’s top running back by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. He was first-team All-ACC and finished seventh in the 2015 Heisman Trophy voting. Cook became FSU’s all-time single-season leader in rushing yards (1,691) and all-purpose yards (1,935) in 2015. 2. Against USF (266) and Miami (222), Cook ran for the second- and fifth-most yards in a game by a Seminole running back ever.
While all 11 starters are back on offense, last year’s QB, Sean Maguire, is coming off injury. So freshman Deondre Francois will start Monday — he’s from Orlando. It was in Orlando that Francois’ candidacy for the Seminoles’ starting job took flight: He completed 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Garnet team tied the Gold, 24-24 in FSU’s spring game. The nation’s No. 1 dual- threat quarterback prospect for the recruiting class of 2015, Francois enters the season with the benefit of having taken the majority of first-team reps in both spring and fall camp.
Francois was a touted recruit much like former FSU Heisman winner Jameis Winston. He also started in a national TV game on Labor Day as redshirt freshman and Winston completed 17 of 18 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns while adding a rushing touchdown to account for all scores in the first half of FSU’s eventual win against Pittsburgh.
The Seminoles are 53-16 all-time in season openers, including a 6-0 mark under Jimbo Fisher. Under Fisher, the Noles have outscored opponents 49.8 to 11.5 in season openers (since 2010).
My Free Pick
Rebels are 7-1- 1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games.
Rebels are 5-1- 1 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
Seminoles are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
This is one of my top choices of the week — give the points on NCAA lines. I lean over the total.