Duke Blue Devils
(15-0, 8-6 ATS)
Florida State Seminoles
(11-5, 4-6-1 ATS)
For the first time in almost a month, the Florida State Seminoles will be hitting the hardwood for NCAA basketball betting action at home at the Donald L. Tucker Center. However, their first test in that time is going to be a tough one, as the No. 1 team in the country, the Duke Blue Devils, are coming to town.
Simply put, the Dookies are amazing. They are 15-0 right now, and they don’t really have the look of a team that is going to lose more than a game or two this year in conference play. Kyrie Irving won’t play another game most likely in his entire Duke career, but this is still a team that ranks No. 4 in the land overall offensively at 87.8 points per game. The Blue Devils are shooting 49.4 percent as a team and 42.8 percent from downtown, both numbers of which leave them in the Top 10 in the nation. Andre Dawkins is stepping up in a big way in the absence of Irving, as he is averaging 11.7 points per game this year. Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler just continue to do their thing, though. Smith is the team’s leadign scorer at 19.5 points per game, and he also has 86 assists, which is also as many as all of the healthy Dookies combined. Singler is averaging 17.9 points per game and is the second leading rebounder to boot at 7.7 per game.
This is really the ultimate test for Florida State’s defense. The Noles, as always have one of the best defenses in the entire country due to the fact that they have some tremendous shot blockers in the paint that can challenge opponents from all over the court. Head Coach Leonard Hamilton doesn’t accept anything less than tremendous intensity on this side of the court, and as a result, the garnet and gold are allowing teams to hit just 35.0 percent of their shots from the field, ranking No. 2 in the land. FSU is averaging 6.8 blocked shots per game this year. The problem is offensively, where there really aren’t many great stars to choose from. Chris Singleton is the team’s best athlete, and just as has been the case for probably the last decade of Florida State basketball, he is the one star that might make it to the NBA on a team that has a bunch of role players to play with him. Singleton is averaging 15.5 points and 8.2 boards per game, both numbers of which lead the team. He also has a team high 38 steals and is second on the team in blocks with 33.
It feels like FSU wins a game against either Duke or North Carolina every single season, and this year really might not be an exception. The Seminoles are going to be glad to be back at home after a ton of games out on the West Coast and three in Hawaii. Two straight losses against the Auburn Tigers and Virginia Tech Hokies have given us a great number to work with in this one, and we are determined to take advantage. Even if FSU doesn’t win it, sticking inside of eight points seems reasonable.
NCAA Basketball Expert Pick: Florida State Seminoles +8.5