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To beat the Orange Bowl odds, you have to put a heck of a lot of work into the game. Our college football expert handicappers have done just that here at Cappers Info, and we think that we have the winning edge for the clash between the Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Florida State Seminoles.
Orange Bowl Picks: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Florida State Seminoles
Date: Tuesday, January 1st, 8:30 ET
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Orange Bowl Betting Odds: Florida State -13.5
Northern Illinois vs. Florida State Live TV Coverage: ESPN
There are a couple of countering forces going against each other in this game, and that makes this one of the tougher ones to handicap, especially for someone that is jaded by wearing garnet and gold glasses (figure we should get that out there in the first place). This is a big game with a big prize at the end of it, and Florida State has a good history of playing in bowl games of late. The team has won four bowl games in a row, and the only bowl games that it has lost of late were the 2007 Music City Bowl when seemingly half of the team was suspended and the 2005 Orange Bowl in which the club was overmatched by Penn State. Aside from that, this team has been golden in these spots, and that win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last year in the Champs Sports Bowl looks darn good at the moment, knowing that the Golden Domers haven’t lost since that point.
Northern Illinois is the trendy pick in this one, and there are some good reasons for that. The Florida State defensive line is all banged up, and that could be the key for QB Jordan Lynch to do the necessary damage to get the ball moving against the Noles. Remember that Lynch rushed for 1,771 yards and threw for 2,962 yards this year, though this is obviously the biggest challenge that he has faced this year. The Huskies dropped oodles of points on teams from the MAC, but the defense still gives us some cause for concern. Remember that this team allowed 19.0 points per game, but we really should discount games against teams like Massachusetts, Eastern Michigan, Akron, Buffalo, and Tennessee Martin. Just count games against bowl teams this year, and NIU allowed 27.0 points per game.
FSU’s defense hasn’t really been beaten up this year in any game that it shouldn’t have been, save for perhaps the game against the Florida Gators. If there is an answer for Lynch, this game will be a romp. The Noles will score against this defense as long as they want to be in this game. If they do, this will look a heck of a lot like the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Hawaii Warriors a few years ago, and a heck of a lot less like the Boise State Broncos and the Oklahoma Sooners from the old Fiesta Bowl. Don’t be afraid to lay the lumber with the garnet and gold, as this game could ultimately get ugly.
Northern Illinois vs. Florida State Pick: Florida State Seminoles -13.5
Orange Bowl Score Prediction: Florida State 41 – Northern Illinois 17