Florida State vs. Florida Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Seminoles for Sunday’s College Basketball Game (November 14)
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Polite.
- Florida State is now a favorite over Florida for Sunday's college basketball rivalry game, according to updated odds.
- With the line moving, is there any value remaining?
- Tanner McGrath breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
Florida State vs. Florida Odds
|Florida State Odds|
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
As they do every year, Florida and Florida State will battle in this big-time in-state rivalry.
Florida State has dominated this matchup in recent history, winning seven of the last 10 meetings and going 8-2 against the spread (ATS). However, the Seminoles find themselves in an unfamiliar position: as an underdog to Florida.
I’m not sure if that’s fair. FSU dominated Penn in its season opener, winning 105-70, while UF beat Elon by a pedestrian 13 points as 18.5-point favorites.
Florida will have a sizeable home-court advantage. But will it be enough to take down Leonard Hamilton and the mighty Seminoles?
The more things change, the more they stay the same in Tallahassee.
The Seminoles lost three starters last season, including the No. 4 overall pick in Scottie Barnes, but their starting five will look very similar to every other Hamilton-led team.
The Seminoles are crazy long (their 79.4″ average height is first in the nation), will play aggressively on defense, and attempt to create transition buckets from turnovers.
Florida State BLOB defense. Length on the ball, switch everything, anticipate the safety pass, and trap the corner immediately pic.twitter.com/odBirsulA9
— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) January 6, 2019
In the half-court, the Seminoles will try to create mismatches and attack you, and they’ll shoot the lights out from 3 (their 40.3 3P% last season led the ACC).
Plus, the Seminoles will grind you down with a bench as deep as any in the country. FSU’s bench is monstrous, featuring four 7-footers.
Hamilton turned over his roster with a mix of high-level transfers, JUCO transfers, and one of the nation’s top recruiting classes.
Caleb Mills (Houston) and Cam’Ron Fletcher (Kentucky) are the biggest names the portal brought Hamilton. Mills struggled with injuries last season but shot over 36% from deep the year before. Meanwhile, Fletcher is a former 4-star recruit who should see an uptick in production from his years with coach Cal.
Keep your eye on the Florida State backcourt. Guards Jalen Warley and Matthew Cleveland were some of the highest-ranked high schoolers in the country, and there will be stretches where Hamilton runs with freshmen at both the one and two.
Last season, Florida earned its fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance underneath head coach Mike White.
Underneath White, you know the Gators will be rock-solid defensively. They’ve finished among the top-40 teams in defensive efficiency in five of his six seasons in Gainesville, finishing among the top-15 teams four times.
However, this season presents different challenges. The losses of Tre Mann (pros), Scottie Lewis (pros), Noah Locke (transfer), and Omar Payne (transfer) have put a dent into this roster.
Moreover, there’s still uncertainty surrounding Keyontae Johnson, whose tragic cardiac event last season shook the Florida basketball team to its core. Not only was it traumatic for so many players and fans, but the Gators lost their best player four games into the season and had to re-shuffle the whole deck as a result.
Most of this season’s game plan will revolve around Colin Castleton. Castleton is a 6-foot-11, 231 lbs. forward who transferred from Michigan last season and became a huge part of the offense.
Castleton’s an interior threat who averaged 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season while shooting 60% from the field.
Colin Castleton made this bucket with FOUR LSU players around him. pic.twitter.com/wQoWuoGIEg
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) January 2, 2021
But he’s more than just an offensive weapon. Castleton’s an excellent interior defender (.667 PPP allowed in post-up situations in 2020-21, 78th percentile) while being an elite rim protector (2.3 blocks per game last season).
Huge block from Florida with a minute left
Colin Castleton was FIRED UP 🗣 pic.twitter.com/H4xtwgflDQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 19, 2021
But his best trait is his athleticism, as he ran the court as well as any center in the nation and significantly improved the Florida transition offense.
As a team, the Gators scored 1.124 points per possession in transition, which ranked in the 87th percentile of teams. However, Castleton himself scored a whopping 1.656 PPP running the floor, which ranked in the 98th percentile among Division-I players.
Meanwhile, the biggest newcomer for White and Co. is Penn State transfer Myreon Jones. Jones led the Nittany Lions in scoring last season, proving himself as one of the best long-range shooters in the Big Ten (39.5% from 3 on 6.1 3PA per game last season).
But Jones is more than just a deep threat. He’s an effective defender and has proven himself as a solid playmaker when called upon.
Myreon Jones ➡️ John Harrar for the dunk pic.twitter.com/ObiXvSAXSK
— Caleb Wilfinger (@caleb_wilfinger) January 23, 2020
Finally, the Gators return 6-foot-1 combo guard Tyree Appleby, who will likely run the offense with Mann out. He was active on the defensive end, leading the Gators in steals (38). But he needs to make massive strides in his decision-making at the point, as he recorded just a 1.1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season.
Those three players combined for 52 of Florida’s 74 points in the Gators’ win against Elon, doing so while shooting 17-for-31 (54%) from the field.
Florida State vs. Florida Betting Pick
We’ve already tracked sharp money coming in on the Seminoles, pushing this line down from +2.5 to +1.5.
However, I think FSU wins outright. The smart money on my side is just a bonus.
Last season, the Seminoles were fourth in the nation in defensive turnover rate (32.5%). Meanwhile, the Gators turned the ball over at the 57th highest rate (21.2%).
FSU will have a significant size advantage at every position except for center, and given Appleby’s questionable decision-making, the Seminoles are going to eat him alive.
FSU forced 26 Penn turnovers in its season opener, while Appleby had a 3:4 assist-to-turnover ratio in his season opener. This bodes very well for Hamilton and his Seminole defense.
Meanwhile, Florida may have issues scoring in transition. The Seminoles are athletic at every position and have shown the ability to play on their heels. FSU allowed just .88 PPP in transition last season, placing it in the 90th percentile of teams.
FSU has won and covered in five straight meetings against UF. I’m expecting more of the same Sunday afternoon, and will happily play the Seminoles at a pick ’em or better.