Florida Gators (21-13) at Florida State Seminoles (23-12)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 6, 2018, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Florida State Seminoles -4 -- Over/Under: 150.5
The Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles kick off the 2018-19 college basketball schedule with a Sunshine State showdown from the Donald L. Tucker Center on Tuesday night.
The Florida Gators will look to build on a decent 2017-18 campaign that saw the Gators finish with a 21-13 record, including an 11-7 mark in SEC play to finish 3rd in the conference tournament, losing in the quarterfinals to Arkansas. The Gators received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament where Florida defeated St. Bonaventure before falling to Texas Tech in the 2nd round. The challenge for head coach Mike White will be filling in the spots after losing 2 of the team’s top 3 scorers from last season in Rice transfer Egor Koulechov (13.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG) and leading assist man Chris Chiozza (11.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.1 APG). Luckily, leading scorer Jalen Hudson (15.5 PPG) comes back to the Gators for his senior season, along with KeVaughn Allen (11 PPG) while bringing in White’s first five star recruit in Andrew Nembhard to replace Chiozza as the point guard of the program. As a team, Florida averaged 75.8 points per game on 43.2% shooting from the field, 37% from behind the arc and 71.8% from the foul line last season.
The Florida State Seminoles will look to build on a solid 2017-18 season where FSU finished 23-12, including 9-9 in ACC play to finish tied for 8th, losing in the second round of the conference tournament to Louisville. Florida State received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, defeating Missouri, Xavier and Gonzaga for their first Elite Eight appearance since 1993, before falling to national runner-up Michigan. The Seminoles return a huge core of their squad from last season, including leading scorer Phil Cofer (12.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG) and Terance Mann (12.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG) who is shooting 57% from the field in his Seminole career. The Seminoles also boast a pair of towers in the front court with 7’4” Christ Koumadje and 6’10” Mfiondu Kabengele. Kabengele averaged 7.2 points per game off of the bench in his freshman season while Koumadje was a strong presence on the defensive end of the court. As a team, Florida State averaged 80.2 points per game on 46.8% shooting from the field, 35% from behind the arc and 69.1% from the foul line last season.
Florida is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games and 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games against the ACC while the under is 7-1 in their last 8 road games. Florida State is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against the SEC and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall. Florida is 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams and 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings between these two teams at Florida State.
The Gators may be a team to keep an eye on this season if the likes of Hudson and Allen can lead the charge for Florida. However, I need to see something from Florida before putting any solid confidence on the Gators here. Florida State has owned this matchup over the last few years, and bring back the majority of last year’s team that made a solid tournament run, so I’ll lay the points with the deeper team and to me that’s Florida State here.