Duke men's basketball hits the road today for an evening matchup with Florida State. Ahead of the game, the Blue Zone brings our can't-miss prop bets for the meeting:
Duke (-5) vs. Florida State
The Blue Devils and the Seminoles enter Tuesday night’s match each with a win under their belts. Duke snagged one from a 88-73 victory in Cameron Indoor Stadium against N.C. State Jan. 15, while Florida State clinched a 76-71 triumph against Syracuse. Despite Duke only having five ACC contests in the books to the Seminoles’ six, the programs already have three cross-opponents to compare. Florida State has played N.C. State and Wake Forest, but most eye-catching for Duke is undoubtedly the 65-64 win the Seminoles eked out against the Hurricanes, as Miami is one of only two teams to have handed the Blue Devils a loss this season. However, with Duke having defeated Wake Forest by 12 points while the Seminoles fell by 22, and beating N.C. State by 15 where Florida State ended with only two points in their favor, it seems that the Blue Devils have the most of the history on their side.
Along with that, Florida State doesn’t have many high-scoring players. The team only has three athletes that average double digits each game, and each under 15 points at that. With that in mind, the Seminoles rely on a complete team effort to secure their wins. That matchup will be perfect for Duke, as it has a broad range of players who can drop double digits on the fly. On the whole, it’s not the most considerable risk to predict a Blue Devil takeover. However, with Florida State having beaten a team Duke has lost to, it’s still in the cards for this competition to have an under five-point gap in the score.
Pick: Duke -5
Over/Under 144.5 points
This number may seem like a bit of a stretch when taking into account that in all but three of Duke’s matchups this season, the group has finished with at least 74 points. Ahead of Tuesday night, the Blue Devils have also averaged 83.1 points per contest, which may make bettors further inclined to predict this match goes over. Still, it’s crucial to consider that this average is dramatically attributed to blowout games. Such evidence is clear in Duke’s 103-62 win on South Carolina State and 107-81 victory on The Citadel, and there are six other matches that the group has registered over 83 points in, making this bet make more sense. However, Florida State averages a combined 73.2 points per contest, so let’s take a look at its three conference cross-opponents with Duke—N.C. State, Wake Forest and Miami—to shine a light on the situation.
Considering that both the Seminoles and Blue Devils combined with N.C. State for over 144.5 points and accumulated less than 144.5 points against Wake Forest, their respective matches against the Hurricanes will be the biggest tell of what they can do, as each team had that contest within reach. In Florida State’s case, it went under 144.5 points, while Duke went over. Still, the Blue Devils did not get more than 144.5 points in the team’s Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest competitions. Taking into account Florida State’s track record and low-scoring roster, it’s likely that this game will go under as well.
Pick: Under 144.5
Paolo Banchero over/under 20 points
Banchero is likely one of the most consistent players on the Duke roster when it comes to dropping big points for the squad. The Seattle native has scored at least 20 points in each ACC matchup this season except for Georgia Tech, which he came in reach of with 17 points. Throughout the season, the forward has continuously been a stand-out in big games for the group, almost always putting on a top-tier performance when Duke has a challenging opponent. With an opponent such as Florida State that has proven itself against a top team in the conference, Banchero will need to put on one of his top performances again. If he plays anything as he has been recently, it’s wise to suspect that the freshman will drop more than 20 points for Duke.
Pick: Over 20
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Ana Young is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle’s 118th volume.