Irish Will Stick Close To Seminoles In Top-15 ACC Clash

notre dame basketball

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 2:27 PM GMT

No. 15 Notre Dame remains unbeaten in ACC play, the only team to be so, but the Fighting Irish are underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds Wednesday night at the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles.

Let's face it; the vast majority of fans and bettors would probably rather see the Irish and Seminoles go at it on a gridiron instead of the hardwood. Both schools simply invoke better football images than their basketball teams give us, and that might have a few folks just coming out of gridiron overdose unaware of the Fighting Irish and Seminoles sitting at the top of the current Atlantic Coast Conference race. They'll tangle in Tallahassee tonight, the tip coming a little past 7 p.m. ET on the ACC Network. A few shops have Florida State -6 with BookMaker carrying the Seminoles at -5½, the same book offering 155 for the total.

5th Of 6 Straight Ranked Opponents For 'Noles

Mike Brey brings Notre Dame (16-2 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) to town as the last unbeaten side in the ACC standings and wrapping up a 3-game road stretch. Ranked No. 15 in the latest two polls, the Fighting Irish have covered the NCAA basketball odds in their last four league encounters, picking up wins as underdogs last week at Miami and Virginia Tech.

One thing the Irish do very well is protect the basketball with the second-fewest turnover rate (9.5 per game) in the nation. Both contests last week stayed 'under' the totals after Notre Dame's first three ACC affairs went past the marks.

Sitting 10th in the AP and 12th according to the coaches, Florida State (16-2 SU, 11-5 ATS) is coming off its first ACC setback in Saturday's 96-83 loss at North Carolina. We might attribute some of that to the old hangover effect after the Seminoles beat Duke four days earlier, 88-72, easily covering the -1½ tag vs. the Blue Devils. In the loss to UNC, FSU converted just 12 of its 26 free-throw attempts and was manhandled on the glass as the Tar Heels had a 56-34 advantage, 21 of those boards of the offensive variety.

FSU Riding 15-Game Home Win Streak

It's hard to call this one a rivalry yet with only four previous meetings, three of those coming as ACC foes. Florida State has won three of those games and two out of three on league schedules. Notre Dame is looking for its first victory at the Tucker Civic Center, dropping both matchups so far on that floor, while the 'Noles are out to extend their home winning streak to 16. Last season's lone clash came at the end of February in Tallahassee, FSU routing the Irish 77-56 as a 2-point underdog. That contest stayed well 'under' a 152-point total after the previous two ACC confrontations went 'over' identical 140-point marks.

Maybe the conference lead being on the line will help vault the Fighting Irish and Seminoles into a bona-fide rivalry. And if tonight's game does heat up, it will set up a huge rematch when the teams meet in South Bend a little more than three weeks from now. Sticking with the game at hand, my free NCAA basketball pick will be on the Irish plus the points. Season record: 22-23-1 (-3.30),

NCAAB Free Pick: Irish +6

Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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