Home » Blog » Florida State Heavily Favored for ACC Conference Game

Florida State Heavily Favored for ACC Conference Game

After weeks of conference and non-conference play, it’s finally time for the ACC Conference Championship game on Saturday. This will include #1 Florida State (12-0, 8-0) vs. #20 Duke (10-2, 6-2) and for the Seminoles, yes, Jameis Winston will be there.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

In their 18 meetings since 1992, Florida State has never lost to Duke and in their last three games (2007, 2011 and 2012), the Blue Devils haven’t scored more than 16 points with its average margin of loss at 34.6 points per game. Florida State enters Saturday’s game as a heavy favorite to make it 19 (-29.5, 62.5 o/u).

Duke landed in this matchup after eight straight wins and its first-ever 10-win season (something Florida State has done 21 times) but that’s one only of many stats for this matchup thanks to Athlon Sports. This makes comparing the two teams a little more interesting today.

Duke is the Greatest Underdog.

The number to look at is 25; this represent the combined spread of the six other FBS conference title games taking place over the weekend (as the ACC sits at the aforementioned 29).

Next up is the C-USA conference with Marshall as a 6.5 favorite over Rice, followed by the Ben Ten conference where Ohio State is a 5.5-point favorite over Michigan State. In the MAC, Northern Illinois sits as a 5-point favorite over Bowling Green while out west there’s 3-point favorites: Fresno State versus Utah State in the Mountain West and Arizona State versus Stanford in the Pac-12 conference.

In the SEC game, Auburn is the tightest favorite with its 2-points versus Missouri.

Duke’s Offensive and Defensive Advantages 

O.k, there’s not a lot but Duke does have an advantage over Florida State in the following:

  • Total offense plays (861-806)
  • Pass attempts (385-375)
  • Rush attempts (476-431)
  • First downs rushing (120-119)
  • Fourth-down conversion percentage (68.4-66.7)
  • Sacks against (14-28).

When factoring in special teams and penalties, Duke leads Florida State for a total of 19 team categories.

Four common matchups 

On their path to Saturday’s game, these two teams played four of the same teams this season: Pittsburgh, NC State, Miami and Wake Forest with Florida State defeating and outscoring all of them, 47.5-11.8 (35.7 points per game). Duke’s record was 3-1, including its loss to Pittsburgh on Sept. 21. It outscored the teams, 43-31.5, with an 11.5 margin average.

Florida is more dominant against the opponent.

Coach David Cutcliffe and Anthony Boone

Coach David Cutcliffe and Anthony Boone

While both schools had double-digit wins during the season, Duke has outscored its opponents by 13.6 points each game (the last two were by 4.5 points per game) while Florida State’s one tight game (two touchdowns or less) came against Boston College in their 48-34 win on September 28. It has outscored opponents by 42.6 points per game.

Florida State owns the First Quarter 

Could this game be over in the first quarter?

This season, Florida State has outscored its opponents almost 5:1 in the first quarter. It has amassed 162 points as compared to the 35 points it has allowed in the first 15 minutes. On the other hand, once this season was Duke “cumulatively outscored” in a quarter–that came in the first quarter at 82-70.

The last time Florida State trailed in a game? Against Boston College.

Florida State is more productive in the Red Zone. 

Florida State gets within an opponents’ 20 more than Duke has this season and when they arrive, they make the most of it, scoring on 62-of-64 attempts (50 touchdown) when in the red zone. In the 52 times Duke got there, it scored 44 times (36 touchdowns).

Duke will play its third ranked team while Florida State is 3-0 versus ranked opponents 

To date, Duke has played against  two ranked teams and this has come in its five previous games: then-No. 14 ranked Virginia Tech 13-10 (Oct. 26) and against then No. 23 Miami, 48-30 (Nov. 16).

Florida State has defeated three ranked teams: then-No. 25 Maryland (63-0), then No. 3 Clemson (51-14) and then a No. 7 Miami (41-14).






  • 100%