Florida State Seminoles at Duke Blue Devils Betting Preview

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Monday night’s ACC clash between Florida State and Duke features a high level of importance on both a conference and national stage. As two of the conference’s best teams, both the Seminoles and Blue Devils have the opportunity to break their current conference tie and move the winning team into sole possession of second place in the ACC. As their only scheduled head-to-head game this season, this will serve as a solid barometer heading into the final weeks of the regular season. On paper, these two teams are evenly matched and feature such a deep collection of talent that a down-to-the-wire game seems all but imminent.

Seminoles Looking for Another Signature Road Win

Florida State has proven it can play with anybody, on any court, as evidenced by a dominant 13-point victory over then No. 7-ranked Louisville in January. To even further emphasize that point, it has been the Cardinals only conference blemish to this point in the season. Entering Monday night as winner’s of three straight overall and winner’s of four of their last five true road contests, the Seminoles aren’t afraid of walking into opposing arenas and leaving victorious.

Led by guards Devin Vassell and Trent Forrest, the Seminoles two brightest stars have combined for nearly 25 points a game. For a Florida State team that averages 75.6 points per game, the balanced Seminoles offense has shot 46.1%, the third-highest clip in the conference. Not to be outdone on just one end of the floor, Florida State also features an imposing defense that allows only 64.9 points per game, the fifth-best mark in the ACC. Simply put, the Seminoles are not an easy team to blow out. With only one loss by double-digits to this point on the season, their combination of balanced offense and punishing defense makes the Seminoles a difficult matchup for just about anyone.

Duke Hopes to Maintain Momentum

While the Blue Devils head into Monday night’s home contest on the strength of an incredible comeback victory over their rivals from Chapel Hill, Coach K’s crew will need to avoid a letdown against an opponent that has proven that winning on the road is an attainable feat, Duke has one of the country’s top offensive attacks with 83.1 points per game and a conference-leading 48.1% clip from the floor. Despite a dominant and balanced offense, the Blue Devils also give up only 66.1 points per game, which ranks in the top-half of the conference. This is no one trick pony that can only beat you with a punishing offense, as Duke is legitimately solid on both ends of the floor.

The Blue Devils are led by a pair of talented freshman in Center Vernon Carey Jr. and Cassius Stanley, who have each performed exceptionally in what will likely be one-and-done campaigns for two of the top recruits in the 2019 class. Despite their impressive performances in their inaugural seasons in college athletics, the heart and soul of Duke has been sophomore Tre Jones. Jones is averaging 15.8 points per game and a team-best 6.6 assists, but also serves as the team’s “veteran leader” on the heels of an impressive freshman campaign. Combining the dominance of Duke’s freshman performers with a skilled leader in Jones has been an excellent formula for the Blue Devils to this point in the year, and they’ll need that combination to excel to pull out the win at home.

The spread in this one seems a bit too large for two teams I feel are quite evenly matched. Even with the Cameron Crazies at their backs, the Blue Devils will be in for a full 40-minute effort against a gritty Florida State group. While Duke may ultimately prevail on Monday night, this has the feel of a tightly contested game that will be within only one or two possessions for most of the night. Give me Florida State to cover, and quite possibly pull of the huge upset in this key ACC clash. Take the Florida State Seminoles +8.5 on Monday at our favorite pay per head bookie site RealBookies.com


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