Pennsylvania vs. Florida State NCAA Basketball Picks and Predictions

Malik Osborne #10 of Florida State looks to pass against Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

This is opening night for these two clubs in an Ivy League/ACC encounter. Florida State is a chalky favorite at home, do they have enough to put Penn away?

A look at the preseason magazines and various power ratings has Penn as run of the mill squad in the Ivy League, ranked no higher than 5th in the eight-team league. Let’s remember, the Ivy League did not play basketball last year.

Florida State is 20th ranked in the preseason polls which frankly means nothing, with all the tumultuous change going on in college sports with players coming and going like packages at the U.S. Postal service.

Pennsylvania Quakers vs. Florida State Seminoles

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Donald L. Tucker Center

Bet365 has Florida State at -19.5 over the Quakers according to their betting odds. Let’s be honest, this time of year there is just not enough information on how a team might play and how it all comes together to start the season. Because everything is so fresh, we’ll start you off with scouting reports on both teams.   

Penn Scouting Report

Head coach Steve Donahue is shifting gears. Gone are three players who helped carry the program and in its place are two very good players to lead Penn.

Jordan Dingle was the Ivy rookie of the year two seasons ago. Max Martz was an expert marksman from the wing as a freshman, connecting on 43.2 percent from the three-point range.

The backcourt is at or near the deepest in the Ivy with four others back with experience, all of who are juniors or seniors. Add in point guard Clark Slajechert as a sophomore and this allows Donahue to mix and match against opposing teams.

The concern for this matchup is the size, length, and quickness of Florida State.

Upfront, Max Luca-Lloyd takes over at center and JC transfer Michael Moshkovitz will hold down one forward slot. These guys will have their work cut out for them against the Seminoles size.

Florida State Scouting Report

The Seminoles have made three straight Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament appearances. With that kind of success comes expectations, both nationally and in Tallahassee. Taking the next step will not come easy since Florida State lost four of its five top scorers including the top three. In all, six of coach Leonard Hamilton’s 10 best players from last season will not be on the roster.

Don’t feel sorry for Hamilton just yet, because with success comes opportunity and Hamilton has brought in arguably his best freshman class.

Preseason rankings are nothing more than the speculation market in today’s world and the Florida State program has proven they bring in NBA-quality players at many spots.

Though it will take time to find a cohesive starting lineup and determine a bench, that has proven to be a skill that Hamilton is very accomplished at. Names to follow from the start at guard are Caleb Mills, RayQuan Evans, Anthony Polite, and Wyatt Wilks. In the frontcourt, Malik Osbourne stars and Matthew Cleveland is the most acclaimed freshman. Of course, the Noles will have a couple of 7-footers as always.

What is the Best Side to Be On?

For college basketball picks, this is a tough choice, a smaller less athletic squad that has not played since March of 2020 versus a talented team that has little obvious continuity.

If you look around at various power ratings, the oddsmakers’ number from almost any sportsbook is essentially the same. Though we generally prefer better talent, it seems Penn will have good guard play and have enough players to drop the three-ball. We’ll also side with a little history knowing the Quakers are on a 6-0 ATS runs as a road underdog and coach Donahue is 39-15 ATS as a road dog of 12.5 or more points.

NCAAB Pick: Pennsylvania +19.5 (-110) at Bet365