- #11 Florida State is a 2.5-point road favorite versus North Carolina on Saturday (Feb. 27th, 4 pm EST)
- The Seminoles have won four straight, but are dealing with a variety of injuries to starters
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
North Carolina has not missed the NCAA Tournament since 2010, and a win on Saturday (Feb. 27th, 4 pm EST) over #11 Florida State would go a long way in helping the Tar Heels keep that streak alive.
UNC (14-8, 8-5 ACC) is currently projected as a 10-seed in most mock brackets, but another loss on Saturday, after an embarassing defeat to Marquette last time out, could put their March Madness hopes in jeopardy.
The Seminoles (14-3, 10-2 ACC) meanwhile, are a Tournament lock, and can put a stranglehold on the ACC regular season title by knocking off the Tar Heels.
#11 Florida State vs North Carolina Odds
|Florida State Seminoles||-2.5 (-110)||OFF||Over 151.0 (-110)|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+2.5 (-110)||OFF||Under 151.0 (-110)|
Odds taken Feb. 26th at FanDuel.
Florida State is currently a 2.5-point road favorite, in a game that features a total of 151. The Seminoles actually opened up favored by 4.5-points, but injuries to several key players has prompted an adjustment by online sportsbooks.
Florida State Likely Shorthanded
The Seminoles were missing leading scorer M.J. Walker for their last contest, a 88-71 win over Miami, and he’ll be a game-time decision on Saturday due to an ankle injury. Veteran forward Malik Osborne rolled his ankle versus the Hurricanes and joins Walker as a game-time call. Three other starters (Anthony Polite, Scottie Barnes and Balsa Koprivica) are also banged up, but expected to play.
— Florida State Men’s Basketball (@FSUHoops) February 25, 2021
With Walker sidelined, Sardaar Calhoun led the way against Miami with a career-high 16, while RaiQuan Gary added 12 points and 13 boards, and Polite and Koprivica both hit double figures. Gary has been a force for Florida State recently, recording at least 10 points in nine straight.
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) February 25, 2021
The Seminoles rank first in the ACC in points per game, field goal percentage and 3-point efficiency, and second in assists. Defensively, they’re tops in the conference in opponent shooting percentage and blocks, while ranking fourth in defensive rebounding. That last stat is significant because in their last outing with UNC, a 82-75 victory, they did an excellent job of limiting the Tar Heels on the offensive glass.
North Carolina Needs a Win
The Tar Heels loss to the Golden Eagles was their first on their home floor all season. Garrison Brooks led the way with 18 points in a losing effort, while R.J. Davis added 11, and Day’Ron Sharpe chipped in 9 points and 11 boards.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) February 25, 2021
UNC shot just 41.7% from the field and 27.8% from 3 in the loss, committing 19 turnovers along the way. They allowed Marquette to knock down 51.8% of its looks, including 37.5% from beyond the arc. They were flat from the opening tip, which is shocking considering how well they played in their previous game.
Just four days prior, the Tar Heels put up a season-high 99 points in a 45-point thrashing of Louisville. The question now becomes which UNC team will show up on Saturday?
With their NCAA Tournament hopes hanging in the balance, you have to believe the Tar Heels will bounce back in this spot. They’ve lost just once at home to Florida State since 2001 and it’s actually surprising that they’re getting points given the injury concerns surrounding the Seminoles.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) February 26, 2021
With a two-game cushion in the ACC standings, Florida State can afford a loss and still be in control atop the ACC standings. There’s little reason to rush back players like Walker, and even if he does play it’s fair to question how effective he’ll be.
Given the magnitude of this game for UNC and potential key absences for Florida State, it wouldn’t shock me if this game closed closer to a pick’em.
Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels +2.5 (-110)
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