Louisville is 4-4 against Florida State since joining the ACC in 2014, though these programs are far from the days when Jameis Winston or Lamar Jackson would dominate this matchup. This time around, the Seminoles are looking for their first 3-0 start since 2015, while the Cardinals are looking to build off of a much-needed win over UCF and take down FSU for the third consecutive year.
Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this Friday night matchup at Cardinal Stadium.
Florida State vs. Louisville Odds
Florida State enters as a slight road favorite after a bye week that followed a heart-stopping win over LSU. The Seminoles are 2-point favorites and enter at -135 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 54.5 points.
It’s tough to get a gauge on either of these teams to this point, and that’s the biggest reason for such a narrow line. Louisville looked better last week after an abysmal Week 1 showing, while Florida State has the talent advantage but didn’t look much better against LSU than they did in Mike Norvell’s first two seasons. Who’s better positioned to come out on top?
Florida State vs. Louisville Prediction & Pick
My pick: Florida State ML (-135)
Both of these teams are imperfect and have been imperfect for a few seasons now. Florida State still makes its share of mistakes under Mike Norvell, but you could argue the Scott Satterfield era is going even worse at Louisville.
Jordan Travis might be the difference-maker in this one. The Seminoles quarterback has improved year-to-year and looked solid against LSU, gradually developing into a stable passer with decent mobility. Malik Cunningham hasn’t impressed as a passer this season, and his mobility generally hasn’t been enough to make up for it.
While both of these teams might have issues with a mobile quarterback on the other side, Travis is the more reliable passer. That made the difference against LSU and could very well be the difference again. It would surprise me if Norvell allowed himself to be beaten by Satterfield three years in a row.
Florida State vs. Louisville Key Matchups
From a passing standpoint, Florida State has the advantage. Jordan Travis took a step forward in 2021 and has continued to show signs of progress so far this season, finishing 20-of-32 for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win over LSU.
On the other side, Malik Cunningham just hasn’t impressed as a passer so far this season, completing 58.8% of passes for 347 yards and 2 interceptions in his first two starts. The four-year starter can make life difficult for Florida State on the ground, though. The Semunoles allowed LSU QB Jayden Daniels to run for 114 yards on 16 attempts, and Cunningham might be an even more dangerous runner after racking up 968 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground last season.
FSU’s run defense has been solid to this point outside of Daniels’ high yardage, and keeping Cunningham from wrecking the game with his mobility might be the biggest key to a win – it would be a surprise if he was able to beat Florida State with his arm.
Louisville’s issues containing the run are a concern heading into this game. The two quarterbacks they’ve faced this season, Syracuse’s Garrett Shrader and UCF’s John Rhys Plumlee, have both given the Cardinals trouble on the ground. Travis isn’t necessarily known for his mobility, but he ran for more than 500 yards and 7 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. Other than the trouble with Plumlee’s mobility, the defense made progress against UCF and shut down the Knights through the air.