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Florida State vs Florida Preview Article


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Florida State vs Florida: NCAA Basketball Betting Picks and Predictions

Florida vs Florida State
Sunday, November 10 at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN) at Stephen C. O’Connell Center


Oddsmakers opened Florida as 6.5-point favorites. Currently, the Gators are favored by six.


In recent meetings, Florida State has dominated. The Noles have covered six in a row against Florida and have also win the last five straight-up. Florida State’s last two wins over Florida came by 21 and 17 points, respectively.


One area where Florida State has owned Florida is on the glass. Two years ago, FSU accrued 17 more rebounds than Florida in the former’s 17-point win.

Every year, Florida is one of the worst defensive rebounding teams by percentage while Florida State is one of the best offensive rebounding teams by percentage.

Inside, FSU boasts a significant advantage in size and physicality that allows it to accrue more second-chance points. This advantage is important because it removes pressure from Florida State’s shooters. FSU doesn’t need to be that efficient offensively in order to score a lot against Florida.

FSU Reloads Inside

Last year, Florida State’s top offensive rebounders by percentage were Mfiondu Kabengele and Christ Koumadje. Both are gone.

But FSU is well-prepared to compensate for their departure because having strong, physical, and imposing bigs is so fundamental to its identity.

Inside, the Seminoles reload with new seven-footers. Above all, look out for Dominick Olejiniczak, a grad transfer from Ole Miss, where he was one of the team’s top offensive rebounders by percentage. He didn’t play in the season opener due to injury. But he’s not listed on any injury report now.

In last year’s win, FSU hardly even relied on its bigs for scoring. They had to contend with an elite shot-blocker in Kevarrius Hayes, who had a superb motor on defense where he combined crisp lateral movement with strong rim protection via shot-block timing and with consistent help-side defense.

With Hayes gone, Florida no longer possesses that rim-protecting stalwart.

Florida State’s Backcourt

Even with Hayes, Florida possessed one of the SEC’s weakest interior defenses based on opposing two-point percentage. In this respect, Florida has not helped itself. Kerry Blackshear is a rather skinny and not so much a physical type. He lacks the body to defend well when backed down low in the post.

Expect FSU’s guards to step up. In particular, Trent Forrest is strong at getting to the basket. FSU’s point guard will have 20 pounds, despite having two fewer inches, than his counterpart. Based on rate of fouls drawn, he’s one of the ACC's better players at drawing contact. He can also use his physicality to create more space for himself at the basket.

Another threat via physicality is posed by former four-star recruit Patrick Williams. Williams has the skill set with which to attack the basket and he’s comfortable employing a variety of moves in front of the rim. He can fade away, he can dunk, and he can float the ball in.

Reportedly, Williams also shows comfortable range from three. Still, Devin Vassell is now expected to occupy the role vacated by the departed P.J. Savoy. Vassell converted over 40 percent of his three-point opportunities last season and his strong season opener indicates that he’s prepared to assume a larger role in the offense.

Florida Won’t Keep Pace Offensively

In their last two losses to the Noles, the Gators failed to reach seventy points. Above all, they lacked the ability to bang it inside.

Blackshear does give them numerically more options inside of the basket. While he lacks Hayes’ defensive competence, Blackshear has hands that aren’t made of stone.

He doesn’t have the same efficient touch as Hayes did, though, who actually converted at a much high percentage from two last year. Blackshear is more attractive because of his dynamic skill set and versatility, but he won’t be more helpful today.

Besides using its length and physicality to limit Florida to one-and-done possessions, its on-ball defending in the half court makes Florida State annually one of the nation’s most efficient defenses.

Best Bet: Seminoles +6 at -108 odds with 5Dimes

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