NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida State vs. UCF

Joe Freda

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 2:03 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 2:03 PM GMT

Leonard Hamilton’s crew now finds itself as an underdog in Wednesday’s NCAAB betting matchup with the Central Florida Knights. Who should we be backing with our free picks here?

Seminoles, White cruise at home

Seminoles forward Okaro White notched a double-double against Jacksonville, finishing with 18 points and 11 boards. The Clearwater native sank 6-of-7 free throws, while coming away with seven turnovers.

Florida State’s Devon Bookert picked up five of his side’s 11 steals, while draining 3-of-5 buckets beyond the arc. Seminoles mates Michael Ojo and Jarquez Smith logged two blocks each, while senior guard Ian Miller recorded a team-high four assists in 18 minutes of action.

FSU edged the Dolphins in rebounds, 38-26, while holding their foes to a 41.1 percent night from the floor. The Seminoles outscored Jacksonville in the second half, 48-31, with sophomore Aaron Thomas piling in 10 points off the bench.

Knights, Newell hold off Tampa

Central Florida saw action on the same night, surging to a 97-72 victory against the Tampa Spartans. Knights guard Calvin Newell connected 8-of-10 field shots, notching a team-high 23 points.

UCF’s Isaiah Sykes and Kasey Wilson grabbed eight rebounds each, while Sykes added four assists and two steals. Knights junior Kasey Wilson registered two of his squad’s six blocks, while he and his mates held Tampa to 38.7 percent field shooting.

Central Florida drilled 8-of-23 baskets from three-point land, while sinking 15-of-25 free throws. The Knights held serve after jumping out to a 54-27 halftime lead, escaping with 10 turnovers logged.

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Back FSU on the road

BetOnline opened the NCAA  Basketball odds for this contest at a pick’em, with early wagers on Central Florida lifting the Knights to be 1 ½-point home favorites. Both squads will be idle until Sunday’s NCAAB betting slate, with UCF hosting Bethune Cookman and Florida State returning home against UT-Martin.

I am adding Florida State to Wednesday’s card of sport picks, taking the short number as a road dog.

The Seminoles return four starters, with White and Bookert off to a promising start in Friday’s opener. FSU collected at 5-1 in its first six spots as an underdog last season, with all five winning tickets cashing as SU victories.

Central Florida became overvalued quickly last year, with a 1-3 spread record in its first four duels as a favorite. The stretch included losses at home to Middle Tennessee State and South Florida, held to 58.5 PPG.

Florida State led the Atlantic Coast Conference in blocks last year (4.9 BPG) and should hold its own on defense in this battle. The Seminoles topped UCF in the rivals’ most recent meeting, two seasons ago, with a 73-50 win as 9 ½-point home favorites.

Central Florida should cool off here after a blazing opener, with a 1-4 spread record in its last five games that followed a spot of scoring over 90 points. For your NCAA Basketball picks look for the Knights to fall short at home, with FSU edging them out down the stretch.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Florida State Seminoles +1 ½ at BetOnline

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