Florida State plays one of its toughest schedules in recent memory in 2016. By record it is the toughest in the Jimbo Fisher era. There has been much debate about which games on the schedule are the toughest.
One way to settle this in an admittedly imperfect but unbiased manner is to consult sportsbooks, both online and in Vegas, to look at futures lines offered on games. The wager limits on these are rather small, and they’re volatile, but it is worth taking a look at what Vegas thinks. Some lines are only offered at one book, while others are available at three or four. Here are the results.
Clemson at Florida State -2.5
Florida State -3.5 at Louisville
Ole Miss v. Florida State -5 (Neutral)
Florida State -7 at Miami
UNC at Florida State -11
Florida at Florida State -11
Florida State -15 at NC State
That’s seven games for which FSU is favored by about two touchdowns or less. And it doesn’t include a game at USF, which also looks tricky (casinos are not yet offering the game).
Is any of this surprising? It seems the Ole Miss line is the only one to move (by about a point) with the news that FSU QB Sean Maguire will miss a month with a foot injury. None of our sources expected Maguire to beat out Deondre Francois for the job, so the move to Ole Miss is perhaps a sign of the differing and perhaps misinformed national perception of the QB battle.
This many games against tough competition is a good way to illustrate how FSU’s over/under regular season win total in Vegas is just ten, while many fans have playoff hopes. It’s worth noting that while FSU is a slight favorite over Clemson in the individual game, Clemson is still favored to win the ACC, likely due to FSU’s tougher road games.
What do you notice about these lines? Do any stick out to you? Let us know in the comments.