Pittsburgh vs. Florida State, 02/18/17 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#579 Florida State University Seminoles
vs.
#580 University of Pittsburgh Panthers

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Florida State Seminoles (21-5 SU, 14-9-1 ATS, 14-10 O/U) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (14-12 SU, 10-13-2 ATS, 12-13 O/U)

NCAAB: Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. EST

The Line: Florida State Seminoles -5.5. Total: 151

The Pittsburgh Panthers have lost nine of their last 11 games heading into a home date with the Florida State Seminoles at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday afternoon. Pittsburgh recently won two in a row but then fell to Virginia Tech on Tuesday. The Seminoles are 3-1 in their last four contests but lost at Notre Dame earlier this week.

Winning streak over

Florida State had been nothing short of dominant prior to facing Notre Dame on Tuesday. In their three-game winning streak, the ‘Noles had beaten opponents by an average of 33 points. But that trend ended–and did so with a bang–when they paid a visit to South Bend. The Irish led by a many as 11 points in the first half and coasted the rest of the way to an 82-74 victory.

The Seminoles struggled to shoot from anywhere outside of the paint, going just 3-for-15 from three-point range and a horrendous 7-for-22 from the free-throw line. Guard Xavier Rathan-Mayers went 4-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-7 at the charity stripe. Backcourt mate Dwayne Bacon turned in a 5-for-13 effort from the field and made only two of his six free-throw attempts. Rathan-Mayes has scored just 25 total points in the last three games; he had previously poured in 29 combined points in the two previous outings. Bacon has shot no better than 40 percent from the floor in three of Florida State’s last four contests.

Dynamic duo

Pittsburgh’s Michael Young (20.6 ppg.) and Jamel Artis (19.7 ppg.) rank first and third, respectively, in the ACC in scoring. Not since Georgia Tech in 1989-90 has an ACC team featured at least two 20-point scorers. Young and Artis have combined for 48 double-digit scoring performances this season, including 25 of least 20 points. A 6-foot-9 forward, Young is one of only three players in the NCAA averaging more than 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Artis, a 6-foot-7 forward, is among just have men in the country averaging at least 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per contest. season. Panthers’ seniors–Young, Artis, Sheldon Jeter, and Chris Jone–have accounted for 71.1 percent of their team’s scoring during this 2016-17 campaign.

Young produced his sixth double-double of the season when Pittsburgh lost to Virginia Tech 66-63 on Tuesday. The Panthers led by as many as 11 in the second half before the Hokies stormed back. Artis drained four three-pointers en route to 16 points to go along with five rebounds.

NCAAB Trends:

The Florida State Seminoles are:

  • 1-4 ATS in their last five road games
  • 1-4 ATS in their last five road games against teams with winning home records
  • 5-2 Under in their last seven games following a loss

The Pittsburgh Panthers are:

  • 4-1 ATS in their last five overall
  • 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the ACC
  • 5-2 Under in their last seven games following a loss

It has been a tale of two seasons for Florida State and Pittsburgh, with the former near the top of the ACC standings and the latter struggling to stay relevant. But things may have turned in recent times. Whereas FSU’s hot stretch came to an end with a thud earlier this week, Pittsburgh has won two of its last three games. Young and Artis are in fine form for the Panthers, whereas the Noles’ have watched Rathan-Mayes and Bacon go cold. The Seminoles are 1-4 ATS in their last five on the road and 1-4 ATS in their last five on the road against opponents with winning home records. Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in its last five overall and 4-1 ATS in its last five against the ACC. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.

Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers +5.5

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Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.