College Football Betting: Bethune Cookman at Florida State

College Football Betting:  Bethune Cookman at Florida State

Too many recreational football bettors assume that matchups between FBS teams and their FCS counterparts are inevitably going to be a serious mismatch. And while there are often huge qualitiative differences between the programs the FCS team can often be very competitive–if not win these games outright. And when there’s a huge pointspread involved all we need is for the FCS team to ‘be competitive’ in order to cash a ticket.

That’s the situation we have today when FCS entrant Bethune Cookman heads to Tallahassee, Florida to take on mighty Florida State. Certainly the Seminoles are the much stronger program and deserved to be the overwhelming favorite in this game. They’re ranked #8 in the FBS and are coming into this contest off of impressive wins over Pittsburgh and Nevada. Heading into the season there was some concern about the Florida State quarterback situation–the team lost AJ Manuel to the NFL and are going with a redshirt freshman to replace him. For now, those questions have been answered. In fact, it would have been hard for Jameis Winston to have had a better debut for the Seminoles–25 of 27 for 356 yards passing with five touchdowns, 4 passing and 1 rushing against Pittsburgh in Week 1. He adds another element of speed to a team that has no shortage of quick players on both sides of the ball.

Of course there’s more to consider than just the superiority of one side or another when there’s a 40 point spread involved. First of all, Bethune Cookman is a very good FCS level team–they’re ranked #18 in the division and in our view should be ranked higher. The schedule sets up perfectly for them as they have a week off following this game before they begin MEAC play against Delaware State. At the same time Florida State has ‘bigger fish to fry’ with an ACC road game against Boston College on deck for next week. We don’t see Jimbo Fisher’s team focused on beating down their FCS opponent and this looks like a game where they’ll be content to take a victory and not worry about a margin. The combination of a good FCS opponent and a disinterested favorite should be enough for us to cash a ticket.