About a month ago, the Golden Nugget released eight lines concerning Florida State football for the 2014 season. This made news because Florida State was favored in all eight by more than two touchdowns, and presumably would be in the remaining four as well, because the games against the four weakest opponents were not listed.
Sunday, the Las Vegas Hilton's numbers came out, and there are four Florida State games of note. The Hilton's numbers are considered more legitimate than the Nugget's, because they'll take larger bets.
Let's compare what I said in early June with the current lines.
Clemson at Florida State -17: If this game were later in the year, I'd lay off. But since it is early in the year, and Clemson has so many new pieces on offense, I simply cannot back the Tigers. The real play here might be the under as Clemson's defense figures to be one of the nation's best, and people will still think of Clemson as an offensive team.
The line is now up to Florida State -20 at the LVH. Perhaps Vegas bettors are not fond of backing a young Clemson offense coming in to Tallahassee so early in the season.
Notre Dame at Florida State -24: This is the one game where I really want to go against Florida State. Notre Dame has recruited extremely well under Bryan Kelly, and the program has been on a sharp climb overall, even having a decent year after losing its quarterback to a suspension. This seems too steep.
This one seemed obvious, and it's down to -22. That's not a huge move, but it is off a key number of 24. Will this get down to 21 or 20?
Florida State -17 at Louisville: I am not that high on Louisville, and think that FSU will be able to handle them on a road Thursday night contest, because it is coming off of a bye. But 17 is quite steep.
No change. This seems like a good number.
Florida State -14.5 at Miami: Florida State all day here. Miami is not that good, 2014 is supposed to be a bit of a valley year between the peaks of 2013 and 15, and FSU matches up very well with the Hurricanes. Miami has not won a home game against FSU since 2004 (this is not all that relevant, but it is interesting), in part because FSU's huge alumni base buys up half of the tickets for the game every other season. This is more of a neutral site game than a road game.
I thought this one was one of the best opportunities to bet on the Seminoles, and this has moved sharply in that direction, all the way up to -19.5.
Florida at Florida State -17: If you bet this now, you're crazy. Will this team have quit on lame duck coach Will Muschamp by then? Or do they get lucky like 2012, come in with a lot of confidence and pair it with a very good defense? Too much potential volatility to make a wager on this right now.
This has moved 1.5 points to -18.5, and I am not sure that there is any real football reason or news for it.
Other games of note
Pitt -3.5 @ BC | Michigan @ Notre Dame -5 | Florida @ Alabama -17 | Miami @ Nebraska -3 | Louisville -6 @ Syracuse | Florida -7 @ Tennessee | VT @ UNC -6.5 | Stanford -2.5 @ ND | LSU -2 @ UF | UNC @ Notre Dame -3 | VT -2 @ Pitt | Missouri @ UF -8 | Miami @ VT -3.5 | Florida v. UGA -6.5 | Clemson -20 @ Wake | Notre Dame @ ASU -3.5 | S. Car @ UF EVEN | UNC -6 @ Duke | UVA @ VT -13.5 | Notre Dame @ USC -6.5 | Georgia Tech @ Georgia -18.5 | N.C. State @ UNC -15 | S. Carolina -1.5 @ Clemson
Any catch your eye?
Season win totals
FSU is at 11.5 (-120 U), which is one of the highest I have ever seen for a BCS team. UF is at 7.5 (-135 O). Essentially, FSU is a coin flip to go 11-1 or 12-0, and UF is, according to Vegas, more likely to go 8-4 than 7-5, but only slightly.