The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are double-digit underdogs against Florida State in their season opener, but the Yellow Jackets are returning several key starters. Photo via @GeorgiaTechFB (Twitter)
- Georgia Tech and Florida State finally get their seasons underway with a conference matchup on Saturday, Sept. 12th, at 3:30 pm ET
- The Yellow Jackets have won three of the past five matchups, dating back to 2008
- Find the odds, a breakdown of the matchup, and a pick for the game in the article below
ACC football is back – better late than never – and that means Florida State and Georgia Tech will meet this Saturday in Tallahassee for a 3:30 pm ET kickoff on ABC.
The Seminoles are looking to return to a position of prominence within the college football landscape, building off a bowl appearance in 2019. The Yellow Jackets have a bit more work to do, coming off a 3-9 record that matched their worst mark in the past quarter century.
Here’s a look at the current Georgia Tech vs. Florida State odds:
Georgia Tech vs Florida State Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Point Spread||Over/Under Total at FanDuel|
|Georgia Tech||+410||+12.5 (-110)||Over 52.5 (-106)|
|Florida State||-590||-12.5 (-110)||Under 52.5 (-114)|
Odds as of Sept. 9th
Head to Head Matchup
Georgia Tech has won three of the past five meetings between these two teams, including four-straight against the spread. That won’t mean anything this weekend, though, since the most recent of those matchups was in 2015 (i.e. before anyone on the current rosters of these teams was even in college).
What’s more pertinent, then, is a look at how these teams fared last season against common opponents. They had four common opponents last year: Virginia, Clemson, NC State and Miami (FL).
Georgia Tech went 2-2 in those games, with a minus-34 point differential (to be fair, they got trounced 52-14 by Clemson). Florida State, meanwhile, went 1-3 in those games, with a minus-37 point differential.
Ultimately, neither team fared well in those games. They have seven common opponents this season, so unfortunately it’ll be much easier to compare these teams to one another long after they’ve played.
2021 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
Georgia Tech’s record was awful, but at least they’ll enter this season with a boatload of their best players as they seek improvement. The 2020 squad carries over last year’s starting quarterback, leading rusher, leading receiver, leading tackler, interception leader and sack leader.
The critical cog for the Yellow Jackets is running back Jordan Mason, who averaged 5.2 yards per rush last year with seven touchdowns. They’ll need to give him more than 179 touches this season to maximize his potential.
💪 @coachchoice #4the404 pic.twitter.com/4utLN35kHF
— Georgia Tech Football (@GeorgiaTechFB) August 22, 2020
For Florida State, it will be difficult to replace star running back Cam Akers. But perhaps that means leaning into the passing game more, where the Seminoles return their top receiver Tamorrion Terry (60 catches, 1,188 yards, nine touchdowns).
FSU WR, Tamorrion Terry 6’4” 210 can flat out FLY! With names like Ja’Marr Chase, Rondale Moore, Rashod Bateman and Jaylen Waddle on the top of people’s minds….don’t forget about Terry.
Talented player that made the right decision coming back to school for 2020. #Devy pic.twitter.com/5QerQzPCrc
— Ray G 🏁 (@RayGQue) April 1, 2020
Two big storylines to follow for the Seminoles: their No. 2 receiver, D.J. Matthews, has not practiced since announcing in August that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Hamsah Nasirildeen, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons, is out with a knee injury.
Season debut games are particularly difficult to decipher this season, given the unusual nature of the preseason (and a perceived lack of preparation that came with it).
With that said, the hole left by Akers and the absence of Nasirildeen on Saturday spells bad news for Florida State. They’re still a wise pick on the moneyline, but this is the type of matchup that suits Georgia Tech against the spread.
Also, keep in mind that Florida State’s home-field advantage is suppressed by the decision to host only 20-25 percent capacity in their stadium.
Pick: Georgia Tech +12.5 (-110)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.