College Football Preview - (22) Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida State Seminoles 5:00 PM EST
Florida State is currently a 1.5-point home favorite with a total of 43.5 at sportsbook.com.
Alabama looks to get back on the winning track when it travels to Jacksonville to take on Florida State in a neutral site contest.
Perhaps this game will be dubbed the World's Second Largest Cocktail Party, mirroring the Florida-Georgia matchup at the same stadium.
In any case, the tide turned on the Tide last week, as it's courageous late comeback against Georgia went for naught in a 26-23 OT defeat, the first setback of the Nick Saban era.
Alabama is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 road games. While things may be new and exciting in Tuscaloosa, they aren't so much in Tallahassee.
Bobby Bowden's team is clearly not what it once was. Fortunately, the Seminoles have done their best work recently in neutral game opportunities, going 4-0 SU and ATS.
Alabama is at a real disadvantage making the journey over to Jacksonville for this non-conference encounter involving two of the South's heavyweights by reputation.
The Crimson Tide just completed three arduous SEC games. The poise Alabama plays with now is a direct reflection of Nick Saban's attention to detail, putting his players in the right frame of mind through practice and hard work when crisis arrive.
Quarterback John Parker Wilson has yet to play rattled and is showing veteran leadership. The Bama defense has played acceptable against weaker offensive teams that lack playmakers.
The expression "Rome wasn't built in a day" does a good job in explaining the Florida State offense, now directed by offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.
Though Fisher has tried to implement aspects of his preferences into the Seminoles, offensive line breakdowns, ineffective quarterback play and running backs not hitting holes have all contributed to lack of cohesiveness.
Thankfully the defense is carrying most of the load for Florida State, and will need to once again. Bobby Bowden is only 41-37 ATS when playing with rest at Florida State. (2-6 in last 8)
In spite of humdrum record off a bye week, the Seminoles continue to work on offense and iron out details on defense.
After three-straight conference bashes, emotional readiness has to be a concern for the Tide. Technically an away game for Alabama, the Crimson Tide are 21-8-1 ATS as a road dog.
Prediction - Alabama by 3
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