Duke vs Florida State Preview & Free Pick [January 18th 2022]

Duke (14-2) at Florida State (10-5)
When: Tuesday, January 18th 2022
Where: Donald Tucker Center,
Tallahassee, FL
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Duke -4/144.5

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The battle in the Atlantic Coast Conference is starting to heat up in mid-January and two of the top teams will meet Tuesday night in Tallahassee, as the Florida State Seminoles host the sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils. The Miami Hurricanes currently lead the ACC at 5-1, but Duke is just a half-game behind at 4-1 and Florida State next. The Blue Devils have played four games since a Covid pause and are starting to find their stride. Duke has won three of those four with the only loss coming at home to Miami (76-74) as 15-point favorites. The frontcourt dominated North Carolina State on Saturday 88-73, but that unit will face one of the best on Tuesday.


Florida State also had a long Covid pause, but have only lost once in five games since Jan. 1 including a 76-71 win at Syracuse on Saturday as 2.5-point underdogs. Before that, the Seminoles handed Miami their only conference loss 65-64. Florida State lost Malik Osborne in Saturday’s win at Syracuse and it looks doubtful he’ll play on Tuesday. Osborne is the top rebounder and second-leading scorer for the Seminoles, but the bench players stepped up on Saturday, outscoring Syracuse’s reserves 29-4. Duke has won each of the last five meetings, but Florida State has covered the spread in five of the last six.

Duke dominated NC State in the paint and thus had a very impressive shooting percentage. The Blue Devils shot 58.3 percent from the field, but were just 4-of-13 from behind the arc. Future NBA Lottery pick Paolo Banchero led the Blue Devils against the Wolfpack with 21 points, while Mark Williams came up with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Duke is 11th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency with 117.2 points per 100 possessions. They also handle the ball well, ranking ninth with a 13.9 turnover percentage. Duke, which is playing their first game outside of North Carolina for the first time since November, is 3-3 against the spread in its last six road games.

Florida State’s winning streak reached three games with the road win at Syracuse, as they shot a sizzling 12-of-20 from 3-point range, while shooting 54.9 percent overall. Caleb Mills and Matthew Cleveland are the leaders of an offense that averages 73.2 points per game this season. Mills scored 19 points against Syracuse to improve his season average to 13.0 points per game. They are also the second tallest team in the nation at 79.4″ on average. With Osborne out, Harrison Prieto has logged 15 minutes after not getting off the bench in the first two games of the winning streak. Prieto scored just 4 points against Syracuse, but had three steals and zero turnovers.

We know Duke is a better team than Florida State, but the Blue Devils have trouble when they come to Tallahassee. The Seminoles have covered each of the last three at home versus Duke, including a win in 2016-17. I’ll pick Florida State to keep it close.

Pick: Florida State +5
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