One of the best matchups of the early bowl season kicks off this week in the Champs Bowl when the Florida State Seminoles and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish face off. Both teams had higher expectations when the season first started, but hope to end the year on a high note with a bowl victory.

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The college football bowl oddsopened with the Seminoles as three point favorites. That line has ballooned to 3.5 in some spots with the early betting money on the Noles. The public consensus in this game shows that 63% of the public is on Florida State.

After a tough start to the season with a three-game slide, quarterback EJ Manuel has the Noles finishing strong down the stretch as Florida State has won six of the last seven games. However the strength of this defense is clearly the defense which ranks in the top five in points allowed. They will be tested against the Fighting Irish offense.

The Noles have a strong defense, but the Irish have a strong offense that can flat out fly. They use a spread attack that is led by Tommy Rees. Rees took over the starting job and has a connection with Floyd at wide receiver that cannot be denied. However the Irish defense is not as good and has some weaknesses that can be exploited by the Noles. The major disadvantage is speed and Florida State has it.

The Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight Bowl games. The Seminoles are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games, 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 Bowl games, and

Brian Kelly has lost this team, at least the players he did not recruit and it has caused a rfit in the locker room. Although the Irish fans travel well, Florida should have a home field advantage and speed kills and that will be on display for this game. Take the chalk in this game as Florida State wins and wins big.

Champs Sports Bowl Preview and Prediction: Florida State -3