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NCAAB Handicapping: Florida St. vs. Miami (Jan. 21)

Florida State at Miami – Sunshine State College Ball

BetUS NCAA Basketball Betting Odds: MIAMI -7.5

Here are some of the NCAA basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* FSU has won eight of its last ten games SU
* FSU has covered three of its last four games * FSU has played five of its last eight games UNDER the total
* FSU has won four of its last five road games SU
* MIA has won six of its last six games SU
* MIA has covered five of its last eight games
* MIA has won six of its last seven home games SU
* MIA is 0-4 ATS in its last four home games

Also…

* FSU has won the last five meetings SU
* FSU has covered four of the last five meetings
* Four of the last six meetings have gone OVER the total
* FSU has covered the last five meetings as the road team
* FSU has won four of the last five meetings SU as the road team
* FSU has had the shooting edge in four of the last six meetings
* MIA has had the rebounding edge in six of the last eight meetings
* MIA has made more three-pointers in six of the last seven meetings

Of course, there’s a natural storyline here, as Leonard Hamilton returns to Miami with his Florida State team. Hamilton was the Hurricanes’ coach for ten seasons, and won the UPI’s national coach of the year award in 1995. He parlayed that success into the head job with the Washington Wizards, where he won just 19 games in his only season. 

Many of Hamilton’s teams have been able to play defense, and this year’s FSU edition is no exception. The Seminoles have held teams to 37.6% shooting, and some of the reason for that is the shot-blocking ability of Solomon Alabi, who has swatted away 2.1 shots a game. Toney Douglas and Chris Singleton have combined for 3.8 steals a game. Douglas is the leading scorer (18.9 ppg), but sometimes his shot selection is lacking (42.8%), and the lion’s share of the offense runs through him; in fact, he is the only double-digit scorer the ‘Noles have.

Despite this, Hamilton has the ability to reach deep into his bench, with nine players logging at least 14 minutes of time. Douglas has averaged 21 points a game in his last six, but if you can shut him down this team is hard-pressed to find an answer on the offensive end. It’s a good thing they can defend.

Miami has much the same problem in that it has a dominant scorer in Jack McClinton, the terrific guard who averages 17.2 points a game and has dropped 45.6% from beyond the arc. He is arguably one of the best shooters in the entire country. Miami gets inside scoring out of Dwayne Collins, who is a 61% shooter, but there aren’t any other proficient shooters on the roster, and that includes a lot of people, since coach Frank Haith has ten players averaging 12 or more minutes of playing time.

Evidently Hamilton has been able to devise enough strategy to get the best of his former employer, as Florida State has won the last five times these teams have played. Now they have a genuine intimidating force in the middle with Alabi, a 7’1″ freshman. That might be the difference in this contest where both teams can lock down the other and neither team is very accurate from the floor. Miami has thrown up some bricks in its last two, shooting 39% as it just got by against Maryland, and a shade less than 40% against North Carolina, which went on a 13-0 run right before the half and cruised to an 82-65 victory.

We’re going to take the points with Florida State, the 7.5-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA betting odds.

Our PLAY: FLORIDA STATE +7.5 ***

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