The North Carolina Tar Heels are peaking at the right time, notching victories over Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, while Florida State hasn’t played in five days since losing its regular season finale.
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The No. 2 Florida State Seminoles finally get to take the court in Greensboro when they play the No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament semifinals Friday.
Florida State earned a double bye to the quarterfinals and got a free pass to the semis after its matchup with Duke was canceled on Wednesday. The Tar Heels, on the other hand, have looked fantastic in two postseason performances, most recently an 81-73 victory over Virginia Tech as 4-point favorites.
Here are our college basketball betting free picks and predictions for North Carolina vs. Florida State on March 12.
North Carolina vs Florida State odds
With tipoff 15 minutes out for this 8:30 p.m. ET clash, BetMGM Nevada has Florida State at -3, which is where this game opened before spending some time at -2.5 and -2. “A handful more tickets on North Carolina, but it’s really close. Money is 2/1 on North Carolina,” BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said. The total is up a point to 151.5. “They’re on the Over, just like last night with Carolina. It’s about 3/1 money and 5/1 tickets on the Over,” Shelton said.
Check out the full line movement for this game
North Carolina Tar Heels vs Florida State Seminoles betting preview
North Carolina: Puff Johnson G (Questionable).
Florida State: None.
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Betting trend to know
North Carolina is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 head-to-head matchups with Florida State. Find more NCAA betting trends for North Carolina vs. Florida State.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
The Seminoles have been sequestered in their hotel rooms all week and due to Duke’s positive COVID-19 test canceling their quarterfinal matchup, they’ve had to wait five days between games. Will that break be a burden or a benefit to Leonard Hamilton’s team?
Florida State isn’t exactly playing its best basketball, if you look at how it ended the ACC regular season. The Noles botched the No. 1 seed in the postseason with a loss to Notre Dame in the schedule finale and fell 78-70 in North Carolina on February 27.
A cold FSU squad meets the red-hot Tar Heels, who have won three in a row dating back to a fantastic regular season finale versus Duke. North Carolina squashed the Fighting Irish by 42 points in Round 2 of the tournament and scored a huge character win over Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals, with this young roster playing well beyond its years and pulling away in the second half.
North Carolina has the size and depth to compete with Florida State and is one of the few programs more dominant on the boards than the Seminoles. The Tar Heels are tied for first in the country in rebound percentage (57.4 percent) and are the best offensive rebounding team in the land, yanking in an average of almost 17 offensive boards over their last four contests.
The big edge for FSU is its ability to knock down the 3-ball, but Hamilton’s team doesn’t pose the same threat away from Tallahassee. The Seminoles record 9.5 triples on 42.6 percent 3-point shooting at home but make just 6.4 3-pointers per contest on a 30.6 percent clip away from the Donald L. Tucker Center. Florida State was 6 for 24 from beyond the arc versus Notre Dame and 5 for 17 from long range in the loss at Chapel Hill.
North Carolina is a very sound defensive team and showed that when push came to shove in the second half versus the Hokies. Roy Williams’ crew is 17th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency and makes opponents work for their looks around the hoop, ranking fourth in effective height (+2.6) and swatting a collective 31 shots over the past four games.
After some inconsistent efforts in the home stretch of the schedule, UNC is playing its best basketball of the season and has now covered in three straight games and six of its last eight showings.
PREDICTION: North Carolina +2.5 (-110)
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The Tar Heels have gone Over the number in three straight games but have to be careful not to get into a shootout with Florida State. That said, their pace, second-chance points, and a new-found shooting touch makes UNC the dangerous offense.
The Tar Heels, who shoot just under 31 percent from 3-point range on the year, are 25 for 63 in the past three games, knocking down 39.7 percent of those attempts from distance. And while UNC shot a respectable 8 for 18 from deep in the win over VT, it made huge 3-point buckets at the right time to pull away and put the Hokies on the ropes.
Let’s not downplay Florida State’s scoring attack, though. Even with this game on a neutral court (a court in Greensboro that has produced a 7-3 Over/Under mark so far in the ACC Tournament), the Noles have plenty of offensive options. There are six players averaging six or more points and FSU had five guys score in double figures when they lost at UNC last month.
North Carolina and FSU went Over the 144.5-point total when the Seminoles beat UNC 82-75 in Tallahassee back on January 16 but stayed Under the 153-point number in Chapel Hill on February 27. These ACC rivals have gone 6-3 Over/Under in their last nine head-to-head meetings.
PREDICTION: Over 150.5 (-110)
North Carolina vs Florida State betting card
- North Carolina +2.5 (-110)
- Over 150.5 (-110)
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