NCAA Basketball Picks North Carolina vs. Florida State

Jeff Grant

Monday, February 17, 2014 12:48 PM GMT

The North Carolina Tar Heels are playing their best basketball of the 2013-14 season, but they’ll likely fall to the Florida State Seminoles due to poor free throw shooting Monday night. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at the Donald L. Tucker Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Streaking

North Carolina is 6-0 SUATS over its last six games, as it comes off a 75-71 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers as three-point home favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total of 136.5.

Eight of the Tar Heels’ last nine games have been decided by 10 or more points, while they’ve gone 2-1 SUATS as road underdogs of three or fewer points since the 2011-12 campaign.

Need to build momentum

Florida State hasn’t won back-to-back games since a three-game winning streak in mid-January, as it looks to build off a 67-60 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as two-point road favorites last Saturday.

The Seminoles have out-rebounded and outscored their last three opponents in second-chance points—two important statistical categories to keep an eye on when watching this primetime affair.

Recent history

College basketball handicappers will definitely have an interest in backing the Tar Heels as road underdogs in this spot, considering they won and covered the number in all three series meetings a year ago.

It’s important to point out that North Carolina shot a combined 47.4 percent from beyond the arc over that stretch—a number that’ll be difficult to reach with the roster knocking down just 32.3 percent of those opportunities in 2013-14.

Control the paint

The Seminoles lead the ACC in blocked shots, while they’ve held opponents to below 38 percent shooting in five of six conference wins this season.

Florida State is looking to lead the league in blocked shots for a school-record fifth consecutive season.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Seminoles as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series.

Pick: Florida State Seminoles -1

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