Florida State Looking to Win Tenth Consecutive Senior Day Game

Mar 9, 2014

Florida State has won nine consecutive Senior Day games and ten of eleven under head coach Leonard Hamilton. “I think this is definitely going to be the biggest game on senior night for us, said Okaro White. “Coach Hamilton has never lost a Senior Day game since he’s been here. At least that’s what he said. We definitely don’t want to lose this one.” White is also determined to end his collegiate career on a high note. “That’s going to leave me with great memories, but you never want to finish on a bad note. You always want to finish something up on a great note, and I think we have an opportunity to do that. I’m going to try and do everything I can.”

Florida State takes the floor with an underrated offense that is averaging 71.6 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 66.9 points per game. The Seminoles are 9-4 at home this season where they are averaging 76.1 points per game on 48.5% shooting from the field and 41.8% from beyond the arc. Most sports bettors would be surprised to learn that Florida State is ranked first in the ACC in field goal shooting, second in three-point field goal shooting and fourth in free-throw shooting (.724). I also like the fact that Florida State has shot 80 percent or better from the charity stripe in five of its last nine games.

Florida State’s offense is led by seniors Ian Miller and Okaro White, who are averaging 13.6 and 13.1 points per game, respectively. Sophomore All-ACC candidate Aaron Thomas actually leads the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game. The trio combines for nearly 40 points per game, while shooting a combined .471 from the field, .384 from three-point territory and .824 from the foul line. Overall, Florida State is 4.7 points per game better than average this season. The Seminoles’ real advantage in this game exists on the defensive end of the floor where they are 4.6 points per game better than average (65.7 points per game to teams that would combine to average 70.3 points per game). More importantly, Florida State is limiting opponents to just 63.9 points per game at home (39.2% FG; 29.4% 3-PT).

Overall, the Seminoles possess a 3.9 points per game advantage defensively over Syracuse’s pedestrian attack, which is only 0.7 points per game better than average. However, that projection fails to take into account the current state of Syracuse’s offense: 58.8 points over its last five games (37.2% FG; 25.3% 3-PT) and 62.0 points per game on the road. My math model calls this game a pick so we are getting decent line value with a team that has not lost a senior day game in nine years. With Florida State looking to secure its fifth NCAA Tournament bid in six years, take the Seminoles and invest with confidence.