The first full weekend of college football closes with an ACC battle Monday night as the Virginia Tech Hokies visit the Florida State Seminoles at 8 p.m. ET in a nationally-televised game. Deondre Francois returns at quarterback for FSU after missing last season with an injury, while Virginia Tech's Josh Jackson looks to improve on a promising freshman campaign. FSU lost its opener to Alabama last season, while Virginia Tech beat West Virginia by a touchdown. On Monday, FSU is favored by seven at home, up from an open of 5.5. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 54, up from an open of 50. Before you make any FSU vs. Virginia Tech picks, check out what the SportsLine projection model has to say.
The model simulates every college football game 10,000 times and produced double-digit profitable weeks last season. It closed the bowl season on a perfect 7-0 run and has now returned over $4,200 to $100 bettors over the past three seasons.
Now, the model has simulated Virginia Tech-Florida State 10,000 times to produce strong against-the-spread and over-under picks. We can tell you the under hits in a whopping 73 percent of simulations, but the model has also generated a point-spread selection that hits 60 percent of the time. This pick is available only at SportsLine.
The model knows the Seminoles nabbed perhaps the hottest coaching prospect in the country when they lured Willie Taggart after he spent just one season at Oregon. He replaces Jimbo Fisher, who went to Texas A&M following a disappointing seven-win season. Taggart is just 47-50 in three stops as an FBS head coach, but is 25-12 over his past three with bowl bids in each.
Florida State returns the bulk of its offensive line and top rusher Cam Akers, who went for 1,024 yards and seven scores last season. Taggart has the luxury of depth at quarterback should Francois struggle or suffer another injury. Taggart has a challenge in fortifying a defensive unit that returns just three starters and lost star Derwin James to the NFL.
The model also knows the Hokies are looking to improve from a nine-win season that featured several dominant wins over inferior opponents but disappointing showings against top-shelf competition. They took care of business against the likes of Duke and Boston College, but were outclassed by Clemson and Miami. They also fell at Georgia Tech and were outplayed in a bowl loss to Oklahoma State.
The Hokies return the majority of an experienced offensive line, along with several perimeter threats and their quarterback. Jackson started every game as a true freshman and showed flashes of dynamic play-making as a dual-threat, but struggled in the biggest games. The Hokies also must address a rushing game that averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last season, second-worst in the ACC.
Who wins Virginia Tech-Florida State? And which side covers 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on Monday, all from the computer model that has crushed the books and ended the bowl season on a 7-0 run.