According to college basketball betting odds the Cavaliers of Virginia are a 6.5 point favorite and the posted total is 125.0. These teams have seen 13 of their last 16 meetings stay under the total. The underdog has covered 6 of the last 8-games in this series. These teams met twice during the regular season and Virginia won and covered both games. The Cavaliers won at Florida St. on 1/4/2014 by a score of 64-50 and covered as a 3.5 point underdog. Then on 1/18/2014 they won 78-66 at home over the Seminoles while covering as a 6.0 point favorite.
A Historic Season for the Cavaliers
The Virginia Cavaliers captured the ACC regular season title this season for the first time in 31 years. It seems like many moons ago when the Cavaliers were thumped at Tennessee 87-52 back on December 30th. They bounced back with a vengeance following that humiliating loss by winning 15 of their next 16-games, before falling in overtime at Maryland in the regular season finale. The Cavaliers are holding opponents to a paltry 55.4 points per game which is best in the country. Prior to the loss at Maryland they had held opponents to 58-points or less in each of their previous 7-games. Virginia personifies the word team as they have just 2-players that average double figure scoring. Their unquestioned leader is senior guard Joe Harris (11.4 ppg) who has averaged double figure scoring during all 4 years in his career at Virginia.
On the Proverbial Bubble
Florida State remains on the proverbial NCAA Tournament bubble despite the fact they knocked off Maryland in the 1st round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday. The 67-65 win over the Terrapins didn’t come without some anxious moments. The Seminoles captured the victory on a last second dunk by 7’3 center Boris Bojanovsky. The Florida St. big man provided a huge lift not by just converting the winning field goal in dramatic fashion, but also contributing 12-points and 12 rebounds. If the Seminoles hope to get past Virginia, and keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive, they must do a better job of protecting the basketball. They turned the ball over 19 times on Thursday which essentially kept Maryland in the game. The Seminoles held a huge 35-21 rebounding advantage in the game, and shot an excellent 48.1% from the field, while holding Maryland to 39.2% shooting. Between the turnovers, and poor free throw shooting (13-21, 61.9%), they made the win much more difficult to attain than it ever should’ve have been.
Both of these teams are very good defensively. I’ve already alluded to the defensive efficiency of Virginia. Florida St. isn’t too shabby in their own right holding opponents to 39.6% shooting from the field this season. Both of these teams have played on the low side versus quality teams this year. Florida State has gone under the total in 8 of their last 10-games when facing a team with a winning record. Virginia has gone under the total in 10 of their last 12 contest when facing an opponent with a better than .500 winning percentage. I look for this to be a hard fought low scoring game.Free Pick: Florida State/Virginia to go under the total of 125.0