Can Seminoles Take Advantage Of Duke Injuries?

Florida State Seminoles players celebrating

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 3:37 PM GMT

With a couple of Duke stars questionable due to injuries, the No. 17 Blue Devils could be a shaky pick in their home finale on Tuesday night against No. 15 Florida State. Thus the total appears the smart play.

Life in Tallahassee has been a breeze for Leonard Hamilton and the Florida State Seminoles. They've won all 17 at the Tucker Center this season, one of the dubyas coming against Tuesday's opponent, and will take a string of 19 consecutive dubyas dating to last year into Saturday's season finale Saturday against rival Miami.

Life on the road has been another story, however, as the Seminoles 3-5 in hostile gyms and 8-6 including neutral-site affairs. It won't be easy to improve upon that tonight since Duke is always tough at Cameron, 14-1 this season. ESPN has the 7 p.m. ET with the Dukies opening at -6.5 -- but that's subject to change with two key injuries.

A game apart in the ACC standings, Duke and Florida State met Jan. 10 when the 'Noles posted an 88-72 decision as slight favorites. The win came during possibly the toughest scheduling stretch of any team in the country, FSU facing six consecutive ranked opponents and going 5-1 in that span.

 

Coach K's Crew Limps Home On 2-Game Skid

Florida State (23-6 straight up, 15-12 against the spread) has since fallen off a bit with a 5-4 mark, all nine games against unranked foes. All four losses came on the road, the biggest upset among those defeats coming as 10 point chalk on the NCAA basketball odds at Georgia Tech. The Seminoles did manage to collect a road win this past Saturday in a 76-74 triumph at Clemson, though they just missed beating the -2½ line.

A fine 7-game run by Duke (22-7 SU, 11-17 ATS) came to an end last week with a pair of road losses, dropping a 78-75 contest at Syracuse on a buzzer-beater before falling Saturday at Miami, 55-50. The Blue Devils were without Grayson Allen for the matchup with the Hurricanes, and his absence really showed in the boxscore where they shot a season-low 31.8% from the field (21-66). Mike Krzyzewski said he wasn't sure if either Allen (ankle) or Amile Jefferson (foot) would be able to play tonight. They are both game-time calls. “They have no push. None. You can tell it on defense, on shooting,” Coach K said after Saturday's loss. 

 

FSU Seeking 1st Cameron Win In 5 Seasons

The Seminoles picked up their 10th win in the rivalry in January, Duke still way out in front with 35 victories. That January decision stopped a string of four straight triumphs for the Blue Devils, and Florida State is looking for its first win in Durham since January 2012. Last year's game on this floor saw Allen help Duke to an early lead en route to an 80-65 Duke dubya that came as 9½-point home chalk. The contest stayed 'under' the mark for a fifth straight meeting, that string of low-side winners stopped in Florida State's win about seven weeks ago.

My guess is Jefferson at least logs 15-18 minutes tonight -- it's his guaranteed last home game -- while Allen remains on the bench (he could return to Duke next season). Even with Duke at less than 100%, it's tough to play the Seminoles for my free college basketball pick, so put me down for a lean on the 'under' this evening.

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Under' 155 Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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