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Basketball Betting — Florida State Hopes Defense Can Turn Back Hot North Carolina Squad

The North Carolina Tar Heels got off to a rough start in Atlantic Coast Conference play, but have come on strong with a lot of momentum as they move down the stretch. Basketball bettors know, however, that there are still some “speed traps” to negotiate, and one of them is the Florida State Seminoles, who play host to UNC in a game that gets underway at 7:05 PM ET at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee.

At the moment these teams are going in different directions. North Carolina has won each of its last six games, covering all of them against the NCAA basketball lines. They are moving themselves into position to get a nice seed in the NCAA Tournament, but they can’t have any stumbles, not with two games against Duke still on tap, plus a couple of more troublesome ACC foes and the conference tournament to come. Florida State is 2-5 straight-up over its last seven games, and the Seminoles have beaten the basketball odds in only two of their last nine games overall.

In the basketball betting lines that have been posted by BetDSI on this game, you can take your pick:

North Carolina Tar Heels pick (-115)
Florida State Seminoles pick (-105)

Over 143 points -110
Under 143 points -110

North Carolina will have to be careful here, because they have a big game right around the corner. Last week their home meeting with Duke was postponed due to bad weather conditions, but the contest has been re-scheduled for Thursday. Will they have that on their minds? That is something the basketball betting public may want to think about.

Neither of these teams was nationally-ranked the last time the polls were released, but they unquestionably come in with credentials. North Carolina may have lost its first three ACC games, but they are making up for it. Capping off this seven-game win streak was a win over Pitt, which came in as the #23 team in the coaches’ poll. And the non-conference wins were extremely impressive, including defending national champion Louisville, Michigan State (which is a genuine Final Four candidate) and Kentucky, which was the pre-season #1. Losing to Belmont, however, didn’t help.

Florida State is an interesting case, because while the Seminoles have bombed lately in ACC play, there are a few strong wins against non-conference opposition that they will point to when it comes to making their case before the NCAA Selection Committee. They defeated Shaka Smart’s Virginia Commonwealth Rams, for example, not to mention UMass and Clemson. And they lost by only a point to #3 Florida, with a two-point defeat to 15th-ranked Michigan, who was last year’s national runner-up. And BetDSI customers know that none of this was an accident. All of these teams we just mentioned, with the exception of Michigan, were held below 40% shooting by Leonard Hamilton’s defensive scheme. During one stretch, they kept 13 of 15 opponents below 40%, and that sounds like some of the Florida State teams we have grown accustomed to.

Basketball bettors realize that what FSU has to do is avoid a defensive lapse, as has happened lately. While they limited a team like Duke to 30.5% (and got burned when the Blue Devils hit 34 free throws, we might add), they permitted 52% to Maryland and 48% to Miami. That can’t happen here, if they hope to “hold serve” at home and bolster their chances of getting to the Big Dance.

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