Saturday, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Free NCAAB Pick: Seminoles ATS
Best Line Offered: SportsBetting
With all the major conference action underway, it’s arguably the best Saturday of college basketball this season to date this week, and the clear marquee matchup is No. 1 Duke at No. 13 Florida State in ACC action. FSU is obviously a football school first, but it will be a rocking sellout at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Duke tends to bring out the best/worst in opposing fans.
Florida State is just 10-36 all-time in this series but the games have been close of late. Last year, FSU visited Cameron Indoor ranked No. 24 with Duke at No. 4 and the Blue Devils won 100-93 behind a monster 32 points and 21 rebounds from Marvin Bagley III, who is of course now with the Sacramento Kings. The Noles led by four at the half and 91-89 with under four minutes to play, but they missed their final eight shots.
It should be noted that the last time Duke visited Tallahassee, on Jan. 10, 2017, the No. 9 Seminoles upset the No. 7 Blue Devils 88-72. The last time Duke was ranked No. 1 when it faced FSU it also lost, 66-61, at the unranked Noles on Jan. 21, 2012.
Bet Duke Or Florida State?
Florida State’s only losses are by six at a neutral site to defending national champion Villanova and by 13 at then-No. 4 Virginia last Saturday. No shame in those! FSU also has wins over ranked teams LSU and Purdue.
Coach Leonard Hamilton’s team comes off a 68-62 home win over Miami on Wednesday. Graduate transfer David Nichols led Florida State with 13 points off the bench. All three of the Seminoles’ top scorers were reserves. Not a huge surprise as Hamilton goes deep into his bench with 10 guys playing double-digit minutes. Senior guard Terance Mann leads at 11.8 ppg. Florida State has now won 39 of its past 41 at home and is 17-2 there in ACC play since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
Duke won its eighth straight, all by double digits, on Tuesday 87-65 at Wake Forest. That Zion Williamson guy is good. The -200 Bovada betting favorite to win the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, Williamson had 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals in the Blue Devils’ first true road game of the season. Freaking stud.
Superstar freshman teammate RJ Barrett chipped in 21 points and seven assists. Duke’s 13 blocked shots were the most by an opponent in Wake Forest’s history; Duke leads the nation in blocks. The Blue Devils had lost six of their last nine ACC road openers. They are now 210-31 under Mike Krzyzewski as the AP No. 1 team.
- Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
- Seminoles are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games.
All due respect to Wake Forest, but that’s not a true road game. Half those fans were pulling for Duke. This will be the young team’s first true test in a hostile environment. We are backing the Noles for a Saturday NCAAB bet against the spread and think they could win outright. Hamilton has four wins over No. 1 teams while at FSU.