Duke Blue Devils vs. Florida State Seminoles Preview and Pick

Duke Blue Devils (13-1) -6, 148 O/U at Florida State Seminoles
(12-5) +6, 148 O/U, 7 PM Eastern, Wednesday

by Badger of Predictem.com

The Duke Blue Devils will try and reverse their recent trend of
struggling versus the Florida State Seminoles when the two schools
meet in an ACC basketball game Wednesday.

Duke struggled mightily last season, and their struggles against the
Seminoles were a big part of the reason. They lost to the Seminoles,
68-67, at Cameron Indoor Stadium last February to make it two
straight losses to the boys from Florida State (they also lost 79-74
to the Seminoles in March of 2006).

The line for this game opened in Las Vegas with Duke as a 6-point
favorite. The few offshore sportsbooks that are listing a total are
showing it at 148. Duke is a -235 on the moneyline, while Florida
State is a +209.

Duke comes into tonights game fresh off a win in their ACC season
opener last Sunday, an 87-65 decision over Virginia. The Blue Devils
played strong in the win, shooting over 50 percent from the floor
while hitting 11 3-pointers. Gerald Henderson led the Devils with 18
points in the game in which they never trailed and held a double
digit lead more most of the second half, making it a relatively easy
ACC opener.

Florida State will creep into tonights game with tired legs, as they
gave Clemson all they could handle Saturday before finally dropping a
close one, 97-85, in double overtime. They previously won their ACC
opener, 66-64, over Georgia Tech on December 30th.

Not that Florida State needs extra motivation when they lace them up
versus Duke, but the Seminoles will be playing to try and get head
coach Leonard Hamilton his 300th career victory and his 100th win at
Florida State.

Duke is second in the ACC with 85.5 points per game. The Blue Devils
are also dangerous beyond the 3-point arc, as they are hitting 40.2
percent as a team. Guard DeMarcus Nelson leads the team with 14.1
points per game and he also sports a robust 58 percent shooting
percentage from 3-point range.

Florida State averages 75.9 points per game and is a perfect 9-0 at
home this season. Leading rebounder Uche Echefu (7.4 per game), who
led the Seminoles in their loss to Clemson with a career-high 24
points, will need to play another good game to take some of the
scoring pressure off of Toney Douglas. Douglas leads the Seminoles in
scoring at 13.9 per game.

Defensively, both teams are fairly comparable. Duke allows an average
of 64 points per game to their opponents, while the Seminoles allow
just a slightly higher average of 66.4 points per game.

Even though fifth-ranked Duke (13-1) enters the game tonight with one
of the countrys best win/loss records (their only loss was a 65-64
defeat to Pittsburgh on December 20th), they are not necessarily a
good team to bet on so far this season. They are only 7-6 ATS so far,
and have covered the number in only one of their last four games.
They also struggle to cover the spread on Wednesday nights, as they
are just 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games on hump day.

The Blue Devils struggles versus Florida State is not just straight
up either, as they are a meager 1-7 ATS in their last eight head-to-
head meetings with the Seminoles.

Florida State has also been a bad team to bet on, as the 6-8 ATS
record would indicate. They have only covered in one of their last
seven games this season, but their one cover was in their ACC opener
versus Georgia Tech as 4-point underdogs.

Another strong betting trend in this game is the under. Eight of the
last nine games between these two have fallen under the total, and
Florida State has come under the total in 10 of their last 12 ACC
games at home. With Dukes defense starting to peak, the Blue Devils
have come in under the total in four straight games too.

Florida State will likely get to add the services of forwards Julian
Vaughn and Ryan Reid in the game tonight too. Vaughn only played
three minutes in the Clemson game, and Reid has been suspended for
most of the season, but both are expected to play tonight. Duke is
still dealing with the loss of center Brian Zoubek, who is out
indefinitely with a bum foot.

Badgers Pick: Recent history and most of the betting trends favor
the Seminoles in this game, but those trends and history were
compiled with a completely different Duke team. This years squad is
closer to what weve come to expect from Coach K and the Devils. Duke
will hit their free throws down the stretch and cover the game in the
process. Take the Blue Devils minus the number in this game.