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St. John’s vs Florida State Odds, Picks: How to Back the Noles

St. John’s vs Florida State Odds, Picks: How to Back the Noles article feature image

Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Florida State’s Naheem McLeod.

St. John's vs Florida State Odds

Saturday, Dec. 17
2:30 p.m. ET
Bally Sports
St. John's Odds
-110o / -110u
Florida State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

St. Johns and Florida State will wrap up their nonconference schedules in Sunrise, Florida, on Saturday afternoon.

The two will meet in the second game of the Orange Bowl Invitational, which also features Missouri and UCF.

St. John's has gotten off to a hot start this season, rattling off eight wins in a row before losing on the road to Iowa State. Since that loss, the Red Storm have bounced back with double-digit home wins over DePaul and New Hampshire.

For Florida State, the nonconference schedule has not been so kind. The Seminoles started out the season losing eight of their first nine games, including losses to Troy and Siena, which both reside outside the top 130 teams.

However, Florida State has handled its business in its last two contests between struggling Louisville and USC Upstate.

For a Florida State team that has been searching for answers on offense, St. Johns will provide yet another tough defensive test.

St. John's Red Storm

Mike Anderson's fourth year as the head coach at St. Johns has gotten off to a fast start both from a winning and stylistic perspective.

The Red Storm have won 10 of their first 11 games this season due to a blistering offensive pace. St. John's is the third-fastest team in the country from a tempo perspective, averaging 75 possessions per contest.

In addition to its pace of play, the St. John's offense has been catalyzed by the off-season addition of forward David Jones from DePaul.

David Jones with a BIG And-1 ‼️

St. John’s 57 | UNH 47 | 2H 5:19

— St. John's Men’s Basketball (@StJohnsBBall) December 11, 2022

Jones has combined with senior center Joel Soriano to give St. John's a deadly frontcourt duo. As a result, the Red Storm have derived most of their offensive success from inside the 3-point line.

Through 11 games, St. John's is scoring 61.7% of their points from 2-point range, which ranks top-10 nationally.

Having this level of success on the interior will not come easily against a Seminoles unit that has the size to effectively protect the rim. Florida State is the second-tallest team in the country with an average height of just over 6-foot-8.

The Seminoles have used this size to rack up a 12.7% block percentage, which is just inside the top 50 in the country. This level of rim protection has resulted in Florida State's opponents scoring just 50% of their points from inside the 3-point line (208th nationally).

If the Seminoles can make St. Johns rely more on its outside shooting, it will bode well for them, as the Red Storm is 299th nationally in 3-point percentage at just 30.2%.

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Florida State Seminoles

Leonard Hamilton's young Florida State team (233rd in D-I experience), had to hit the ground running, playing six teams inside the top 100 to begin the season.

On paper, Florida State's offense has many questions that need to be answered. The Seminoles are outside the top 200 in effective FG%, 3P% and 2P%.

These numbers have been heavily influenced by the Seminoles' nonconference strength of schedule. Coming into Saturday, Florida State's offense will have faced six defenses ranked inside the top 50 in adjusted efficiency.

Their two biggest tests came in back-to-back contests with Purdue and Virginia, both of which remain undefeated.

Although the Seminoles weren't victorious in either contest, they were competitive.

Against Purdue, Florida State held a four-point lead early in the second half before losing by 10. Similarly, the Seminoles came back from a 51-39 second-half deficit against Virginia to lose by only five.

Since Nov. 30, Florida State has routinely outperformed expectations, covering the spread in four straight games.

The Seminoles will look to continue this trend against a St. John's unit that has been trending in the opposite direction. The Red Storm have covered the spread in only one of their previous five contests.

The biggest question mark for any St. John's opponent is their ability to keep pace with the Red Storm's offense. The Seminoles will be well-equipped to do just that.

Through 12 games, Florida State ranks 49th in adjusted tempo by averaging 71.4 possessions per contest (49th nationally). This high number of possessions comes as a result of the Seminoles' average offense possession lasting 15.7 seconds (29th nationally).

Look for an FSU unit that's no stranger to tough defenses to keep pace with a lightning-fast St. John's offense.

St. John's vs. Florida State Betting Pick

Saturday's matchup with St. John's will be yet another tough test for Hamilton's Seminoles team.

Unlike FSU's matchups with Purdue and Virginia, St. Johns will play at a pace that the Seminoles are much more comfortable with.

Additionally, Florida State will use its length and size to limit the success on the interior that St. John's has leaned on all season.

Although a victory will be hard to come by with so many offensive question marks, look for Florida State to keep things close on Saturday in what will be a pro-FSU atmosphere.

Pick: Florida State +7 (Play to +6)

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