Georgia faces Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Saturday (12/30/23). In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our Georgia vs. Florida State best bet which is Georgia -19.5.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida State Seminoles Prediction
Any conversation about this year’s Orange Bowl has to start with a trip to the bowl game tracker page where we can find the latest news in terms of opt-outs, transfers and injuries. Florida State has seen several players on both sides of the ball opt out to prepare for the NFL Draft. Let’s break down the list.
- RB Trey Benson
- WR Johnny Wilson
- WR Keon Coleman
- TE Jaheim Bell
- OT Bless Harris
- ED Jared Verse
- DL Fabien Lovett
- DL Joshua Farmer
- DL Malcolm Ray
- LB DJ Lundy
- CB Jarrian Jones
- CB Renardo Green
It’s impossible to use any of the season-long metrics for Florida State when handicapping this game given all of those absences. Four-star freshman quarterback Brock Glenn will get the start with Jordan Travis injured and Tate Rodemaker in the portal. Glenn completed just 10 of his 25 pass attempts this season with a putrid 3.6 yards per attempt. He’ll be thrown into the fire against an elite Georgia defense in this matchup.
To his credit, Glenn expressed confidence about this game, saying “we’ve played two SEC teams and won both of them. So, you can say what you want about the SEC, but we’re just as good.” The teams he’s referring to are LSU and Florida, who were both well below average against the pass this season.
I appreciate the panache from Glenn, but he’s just giving more bulletin board material to a Georgia team that appears to be all in on this game. Quarterback Carson Beck will be back for another season, and Brock Bowers will likely be out, wide receiver Ladd McConkey is expected to play despite an injury that limited him over the final stretch of the season.
Save for some depth players who have entered the transfer portal in search of opportunities for more playing time elsewhere, Georgia’s roster is expected to be intact for this game. The Bulldogs will be eager to put their SEC Championship loss in the rearview mirror, and Kirby Smart is a master motivator who won’t take his foot off the gas in this game.
Georgia already would have had major advantages in this game, but with so many Florida State players not available, this game should be a blowout. I’d lay the points with Georgia up to -21, although I wouldn’t be shocked if they deliver a signature win by 35+ points as they did five different times this season, including against some strong teams in Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.
Georgia vs. Florida State Prediction: Georgia -19.5
Georgia vs. Florida State Best Odds
The odds for this game have been on the move since Georgia opened as 14-point favorites. As more news has trickled in regarding the status of key players on both teams, the spread has ballooned all the way to the current -19.5 at the time of writing. I don’t think this is done steaming, either, as I wouldn’t be surprised if it closes on the other side of the key -21.
Georgia vs. Florida State Key Matchups
The key matchups section is typically reserved for player matchups, but I’d rather focus on the coaches here. I believe there’s a huge edge with Kirby Smart over Mike Norvell in this game. Let’s break it down.
Kirby Smart vs. Mike Norvell
Smart hasn’t backed down in his expectations for his team despite the Florida State opt outs, saying his team is “trying to play to our standard.” Smart is 7-3 ATS in bowl games and is one of the best postseason coaches in college football history. Norvell, meanwhile, has gone 0-5 ATS in bowl games and has been a letdown in key moments throughout his coaching tenure.
Norvell is put in an unenviable position with so many Florida State players moving on and not playing in this game. The tweet from Norvell below sheds some light on where he’s at mentally, and it seems like he’s preparing for an inevitable blowout loss to Georgia on Saturday.
The world will let fear affect it, life can be full of disappointing moments, and will always have competition. Be true and honest in the moment you then you can live with all the results. Excited and grateful for each opportunity #KeepCLIMBing #AllWeGotAllWeNeed pic.twitter.com/egkqNGVWPk
— Mike Norvell (@Coach_Norvell) December 25, 2023
Carson Beck vs. Florida State’s Pass Defense
The Bulldogs got a huge boost when Carson Beck announced that he’ll be returning for next season, and he made concerns over the loss of Stetson Bennett look silly early this season. Beck finished with 3,738 passing yards and 22 touchdowns with an 85.2 QBR that ranked seventh in the country. He led the fourth-ranked passing offense in the country by success rate.
Florida State’s pass defense was excellent this year, ranking third in EPA/play allowed, but they’ll be without their top two cornerbacks Jarrian Jones and Renardo Green. Edge rusher Jared Verse, who led the team with 60 pressures per PFF, has also opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft. With so many key absences, this skeleton crew pass defense will likely have a tough time slowing down Beck.
“I sat here for 3 years and didn’t play. Why would I not take advantage of another opportunity to play on such a great team?”
— Aaron Leicht (@aaronleicht) December 28, 2023