Florida State Seminoles vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick

by | Mar 16, 2019 | cbb

Florida State Seminoles (27-6 SU, 16-16-1 ATS) vs. Duke Blue Devils (28-5 SU, 17-15-1 ATS)
When: Saturday, March 16, 2019 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
TV: ESPN

Point Spread: FSU +8 / DUKE -8 (SportsBetting.ag)
Total: O/U 147.5

Last Time Out: Florida State stunned Virginia beating them 69-59 in the first ACC semifinal; Duke held off UNC 74-73 in the second ACC semifinal

Scouting the Seminoles:

The Seminoles pretty much played a complete game to knock off the top-seeded Cavaliers. Their shooting was really the difference, as they went 26 of 46 from the field (56.5%), while holding the Cavaliers to 5 of 24 from three-point range (20.8%). Now with a win, it would give them the ACC title and a ton of momentum heading into the first week of the tournament next week. Not to mention, beating Duke with Zion could easily be enough to propel them to a 3-seed instead of their current projection of a 4-seed.

Scouting the Blue Devils:

Just like we all knew; the return of Zion Williamson has changed the complexion of this team entirely. During the time he was out, Duke really struggled, but as seen in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Zion did not miss a beat in his first two conference tournament games. Now with a win, Duke should get consideration for a 1-seed and will have new life in terms of making a deep run to a Final Four or even the National Championship.

Head to Head:

It seems like forever ago, but teams last met in January and Duke ended up winning this game 80-78 on a Cam Reddish buzzer beater. This game was on the road for Duke, but now that they are playing in Charlotte, they will be the unofficial home team. The win back in January gives the Blue Devils 3 straight wins over the Seminoles, and eight wins out of the last ten meetings. The last win for Florida State came all the way back in 2017.

Notable Betting Trends:

While Duke has the advantage in straight up wins, it is Florida State who holds the slight edge in covering against the spread. The Seminoles have covered in 6 of the last 10, 4 of the previous 5 and the last 4 games in a row.

X-Factor:

The big three for the Blue Devils. Like the norm, Duke has had a fantastic freshman class this year. Mainly the talent of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish have carried this team the entire season. However, they are all still freshman, and this will be the biggest game of their lives, until at least the Big Dance starts next week. The great thing about these guys is that when one struggles, the other two almost always make up for it. Against the Tar Heels, both Barrett and Reddish struggled shooting the ball with RJ going 5 for 15 and Cam going 3 of 7. Zion, on the other hand, had another monster game, pouring in 31 points in his second game back an also led the team with 11 rebounds. Florida State will be no pushover though, so if the Blue Devils want to secure another ACC title, they will need all three of these guys to make a difference.

Florida State will Cover if:

They can rebound at an elite level. The Seminoles are by no means the best rebounding team, but they are going to need to step it up big time if they want to keep Zion off the boards. They just outrebounded Virginia 33 to 18 and won by 9, so if they can do something remotely similar to the Blue Devils, they may be able to hang around in this title game.

Duke will Cover if:

They shoot better from the three-point line. There is no denying that Duke is not a good three-point shooting team. They have had their moments, but overall, they have shot 30.5% from deep range, ranking them 339th in the country. In the ACC quarterfinals, the Blue Devils shot even worse than their average at 5 of 20 or 25%. Luckily, their rebounding is fantastic, and they were able to get plenty of second-chance points against the Tar Heels. If they once again struggle from three-point range, it should allow the Seminoles to hang around. However, if they can just manage to shoot a decent percentage, they will run away with this game because they have too many offensive weapons.

Matt’s Pick for Florida State vs. Duke Blue Devils:

With the emotional win over their biggest rivals in the quarters, Duke will come out red hot, and by the end of the game, they will show why they are the best team in the ACC. Look for Duke to cover even if we see double digits and secure a 1-seed for the tournament next week.

Matt’s College Basketball Pick: Duke Blue Devils ATS