Florida State’s Trent Forrest (3) during an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in South Bend, Ind. Florida State won 73-71. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
- #20 Florida State and Florida will have their annual intrastate duel on Saturday, December 12th, at 11:00 AM ET
- The Seminoles have absolutely dominated the Gators against the spread, covering in seven straight meetings (and winning four of those as straight up underdogs)
- Find odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, in the article below
Perhaps oddsmakers finally learned their lesson. Or perhaps #20 Florida State really is the better team this season. Either way, the unbeaten Seminoles are favorites against the unbeaten Florida Gators in their annual intrastate duel (Saturday at 11:00, boasting a remarkable hot streak against the spread.
Florida State has covered in their past seven matchups with Florida — including four that they won straight up as the under dog. You just don’t see a trend that strong every day. Of course, that’s over the span of several years, so it’s still important to examine this matchup through the lens of the current season. And we’ll do that below, after displaying the odds for Saturday’s tilt:
#20 Florida State vs Florida Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Point Spread||Over/Under Total|
|#20 Florida State||-144||-2.5 (-110)||Over 139.5 (-114)|
|Florida||+122||+2.5 (-110)||Under 139.5 (-106)|
Odds taken Dec. 11 at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared So Far
As stated above, neither team has a blemish on their record so far — though there are limited results to speak of.
Florida (3-0) has won its games by a combined 73 points, including a particularly impressive 20-point win over Boston College (No. 86 in the KenPom rankings). Saturday’s game against Florida State will be the Gators’ first road test of the season, and of course it comes against their toughest opponent to date.
Florida State (2-0) has had a tale of two victories: first, a blowout win over winless North Florida; second, a gritty overtime win against Indiana (No. 20 in KenPom’s rankings).
The Seminoles’ win over the Hoosiers is exactly the type of win that instills confidence: against a strong opponent, in a back and forth battle, Florida State emerged on top. KenPom ranked it the 13th most “exciting” game of the season, which is based on how much the win probability changed throughout the game.
Against the spread, the Gators are 2-1, which includes consecutive wins in their past two games. Dating back to last season, they are 6-4 against the spread in their past 10 games. The Gators were only underdogs twice in that span, going 1-1.
When you step between the lines, be ready. #GoGators #GatorsHoop pic.twitter.com/QqW5YhNGXt
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) December 11, 2020
The Seminoles, meanwhile, are 1-1 against the spread in 2020-21, but are 7-3 dating back to last season. Interestingly, many of their recent games have finished close to the spread on one side or the other (they’ve had five of their past 10 games finish within three points of the spread).
From an over/under standpoint, these teams have seen the under hit in four of their five games. Against each other, the under has hit three times in a row.
Head to Head Matchup
We’ve already addressed the Seminoles’ mega win streak against the spread, but keep in mind that only the past couple of years really matter in the context of this game. Last year, as a 5.5-point underdog, Florida State went on a rampage in a 63-51 straight up win.
That marked their third consecutive win against Florida in which they bested the spread by over 15 points! Talk about making oddsmakers look silly.
Two Seminoles starters from last year advanced to the NBA, while the other three are still around. The Gators are down two starters as well, but they return Keyontae Johnson, who had a game-high 19 points in last year’s matchup and is averaging 19.7 points per game in the early stages of this season.
Keyontae Johnson with the SLAM 😤 pic.twitter.com/u8sgnwXXat
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 16, 2020
Let’s get real. This should be a good game and it’s certainly winnable for either side. These programs know each other well. But you can’t look at Florida State’s hot streak versus Florida and bet against that. You simply can’t.
Pick: Florida State -2.5 (-110)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.