The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hit the road for the third time in five games on Saturday night to take on the No. 5 Florida State Seminoles. The Irish come into the game at 11-7 overall and 2-5 in the ACC. Notre Dame has lost three of its last four games, but the three losses have come by a total of 10 points.
Florida State enters the game at 16-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC. The Seminoles have not lost since the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3 against Indiana.
Leonard Hamilton’s team has not played its best ball in their last two games, pulling out a four-point victory at home over Virginia and a four-point overtime victory on the road against Miami. Of course, there is something to be said for a team that can still win games while not playing its best basketball, especially on the road.
Sophomore wing Devin Vassell might also be playing his way into the draft lottery, averaging 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals in ACC play to go along with shooting 41.8 percent from behind the three-point line.
Despite their lack of team success recently, the Irish boast some players that are currently playing some of the best basketball of their careers. T.J. Gibbs is averaging over 16 points per game over his last six games and is shooting 50 percent from behind the arc.
Meanwhile, sophomore wing Dane Goodwin is averaging 14.7 points per game over his last three games while shooting 47.6 percent from deep. This is, of course, in addition to forward John Mooney leading the entire country in rebounding and recording 12 straight double-doubles.
Florida State is a seven-point favorite at home, with the over/under set at 142.
Can The Irish Put Up A Fight?
Notre Dame comes into the game just 2-4 in road/neutral-site games and 2-5 straight up as an underdog. Overall, the Irish are a mediocre 9-9 against the spread and 3-3 ATS in those six road/neutral-site games.
In true road games, the Irish are underperforming the spread by 1.0 points per game with an average margin of victory of -6.4 points per game.
The total has gone under in 11 of Notre Dame’s 18 games and in four of its six road/neutral-site games on the season. In recent contests, the Irish are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games and just 3-13 straight up in their last 16 ACC games.
Protecting The Panhandle
The Seminoles have boasted one of the most underrated home-court advantages over the last 10 years. Since 2010-11, Florida State is 127-31 at home, good for a .803 winning percentage. It is also currently on a 10-game winning streak at home.
On the season, the Seminoles are just 4-5 against the spread at home and 9-9 overall. They are outperforming the spread by an average of 0.9 points per game with a home margin of victory averaging 20.2 points per game.
The total has gone over in 10 of the Seminoles’ 18 games and in four of their last six games overall.
Should Be A Good One
This is a sneaky good matchup with high-end players all over the floor. Notre Dame has some of the best young talent in the league in Goodwin as well as Prentiss Hubb, who is becoming one of the biggest offensive threats in the league.
Vassell and Trent Forrest make up the best backcourt in the ACC and just make plays all over the court. Unfortunately for the Irish, Forrest and Vassell are especially good on the defensive end.
The Seminoles are susceptible on the glass, however, ranking 303rd in the nation in total rebounding. Florida State also has the recent hot shooting from M.J. Walker, who is shooting 43.3 percent from behind the arc in his last four games and 37 percent from three in his career at home.
The Irish are inconsistent, so take the Seminoles to cover and the over.
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