The Florida State Seminoles play host to the Syracuse Orange in an interesting ACC showdown on Wednesday night from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Only one game separates the two in the ACC standings heading into this mid-week tilt and with the ACC Tournament quickly approaching, the outcome of this one could dictate who gets the higher seed. These two are yet to square off this season but with Syracuse getting back into the win column the last time out, they might have some confidence to bring into this matchup.
Orange Back On Winning PathSyracuse finds itself on the outside looking in when it comes to the NCAA Tournament and with their NET Ranking of 98, it's likely that they'll need to win the ACC Tournament to find themselves playing in March. They have a 14-10 record overall and going on the road has been a challenge for this group. They have a 4-4 record in true road games and are 5-5 in total games away from home, though Florida State could be a good opportunity for them to grab a road win. The Orange just won on the road over the weekend, taking down Boston College, which helped to snap their three-game losing streak. Grabbing a win against the struggling Seminoles is a must for this group, especially with the schedule coming up. With NC State, Duke, Clemson, and Pittsburgh, representing their next four games, it could be a few weeks before they are a favorite in another game.
The Orange have one injury that they continue to navigate as they stay on the road for this one. Peter Carey (knee) was ruled out for the season in mid-January, just a few weeks ago, though his absence isn't likely to alter the outcome in this one. Having only appeared in three games and not scoring a point on the season, there shouldn't be too much concern.
🎥 Jesse Edwards after his career-high 27-point performance pic.twitter.com/S5cOiJ6bMX— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) February 5, 2023
Syracuse's offense has been one of the best in the ACC this season and considering Florida State's struggles on the defensive side of things, the Orange might be able to simply outscore their opponents in this one. The Seminoles rank near the bottom of the ACC in three-point defense, though with Syracuse carrying a few sharpshooters into this one, they could extend their lead quickly in this one. Beyond that, expect the Syracuse 2-3 zone to do its job too. The Seminoles have struggled from three-point range themselves and without much experience, navigating this unique defense could be an issue. With three double-figure scorers carrying the brunt of the load, expect Joe Girard III (16.6 ppg) to use his experience to their advantage, while Jesse Edwards (14.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg) should have no issues dominating inside.
Seminoles Treading Water In ACCOnly a few years removed from winning the ACC regular season championship, the Seminoles find themselves limping along this season, with an 8-16 record. Beyond that, they even have a losing record at home too, to go along with their losing record in the ACC. Their NET sits in the 200s and their RPI at 196, both showing how far the program has fallen this season. Some unfortunate off-season losses, along with some talent issues, have meant a struggle on an almost nightly basis. They were able to grab a road win the last time out, which served to snap their three-game losing streak, and with the last two on the road, they'll be happy to be back at home. With the Orange having just played on the road, Florida State will be happy to have the luxury of being at home as the two square off. With little to play for, besides pride, they'll be looking to use Monday to get some momentum going into the conference tournament time of the year.
The Seminoles have three absences themselves, starting with Jeremy Bembry (redshirt) who hasn't appeared all season. When it comes to the injury front, Jaylan Gainey (knee) has missed the whole season, while Cam'ron Fletcher (knee) was ruled out for the season back in December. The lack of depth is evident with those absences, especially with Fletcher out. Fletcher was a double-figure scorer and one of the team's best perimeter defenders, both of which have been missed this season.
Road win 🍢#NewBlood pic.twitter.com/Vm8i6Jn1Vo— Florida State Men’s Basketball (@FSUHoops) February 5, 2023
With three double-figurer scorers still, Florida State's offense has been what has let them down this season. They rank 217th in scoring, which isn't ideal but combined with their inability to defend at a respectable level, finding success has been a struggle. They rank 326th in scoring defense and 328th in three-point percentage defense, both numbers which aren't likely to spark much confidence in this one. Matthew Cleveland (14.2 ppg) and Darin Green Jr. (14.0 ppg) lead the way in the backcourt but without much frontcourt presence, that is bound to be a massive disadvantage in this one.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Even though they'll be taking to the road in this game, there's no doubt that the Orange will cover the spread in this one and come away with the win. Their 2-3 zone is bound to force Florida State into settling for three-point shots, which has been a massive issue for this group. Adding to that is a lack of depth for the Seminoles in the frontcourt, which is certain to haunt them. For Syracuse, their offense is one of the more efficient ones in the ACC, and considering their defense doesn't expect to be an issue in this one, their experience will be crucial. Additionally, according to covers.com, the road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams will want this game played at a fast pace and that should drive up the scoring for the Seminoles, even despite their recent offensive struggles. Even with the struggling three-point shooting for the Seminoles, the sheer number they should attempt in this game as opposed to previous games will give their offense a leg up. For Syracuse, their offenses have performed regardless of who they've gone up against and with Florida State's defense on its heels, Syracuse has the inside and outside balance to score with quite a bit of success on Wednesday night. Additionally, according to covers.com, Syracuse is over 13-3 in their last 16 games and 10-1 in their last 11 games following an ATS win. For Florida State, the over is 3-0-1 in their last four games overall and 6-1 in their last seven games against a team with a winning straight-up record.