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2021 NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks, Preview: Florida State vs. Colorado (March 22)

2021 NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks, Preview: Florida State vs. Colorado (March 22) article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: M.J. Walker of Florida State.

  • Florida State is a small favorite over Colorado in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which continues Monday.
  • Colorado advanced to the second round on the back of impressive shooting numbers to defeat a hot Georgetown team. Florida State is an all-around team and owns a decisive size advantage over the Buffaloes.
  • Tanner McGrath expects that advantage to be enough for the Seminoles to cover, and gives his complete Florida State vs. Colorado pick and preview below.

Florida State vs. Colorado Odds

Florida State Odds-1.5
Colorado Odds+1.5
Moneyline-124 / +106
TimeMonday, 7:45 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday evening and via FanDuel.

Georgetown was one of the most popular upset picks in the first round. Colorado quickly silenced that crowd.

The Buffaloes hit 11 first-half 3s on their way to a commanding 23-point victory. Guard McKinley Wright played a near-perfect game in his role, finishing with 12 points and 13 assists.

Colorado pulls Florida State in an awesome 4-5 matchup. The Seminoles allowed UNC Greensboro to hang around for a little bit but eventually pulled out the 10-point victory (although the line closed at FSU -10.5).

This is a great matchup that’s going to be a close game. Vegas knows this, as the line opened at Florida State -1.

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Florida State Seminoles

This is a very fun Florida State team.

It finished the year 17-6 overall and 11-4 in conference play. It boasts an unselfish offense with a long and athletic defense. It finished first in the ACC in both offensive and defensive eFG% this season.

Its entire starting five averages between nine and 12 points per game, and the offensive approach that Leonard Hamilton is using (find the mismatch and attack) is working. At 80.5 points per game, the Seminoles finished first in the ACC in points per game.

The Seminoles’ most talented player is 6-foot-9 freshman guard Scottie Barnes. Playing as the sixth man, Barnes averages 10.6 points and 4.1 assists per game on high efficiency (shooting 56% on 2-point attempts this season). But he doesn’t just score, as he finished third in the SEC and top-50 in the country in assist rate.

Florida State plays an all-around game, but it does excel in a few specific areas:

  • FSU is 13th in the country in 3-point percentage (38.3%)
  • FSU is 10th in the country in defensive 2-point percentage (43.9%)
  • FSU is ninth in the nation in block percentage (14.7%)

However, the Seminoles are also very weak in a few areas:

  • FSU is 283rd in the country in defensive rebounding percentage (31.1%)
  • FSU is 248th in turnover percentage (20.3%)
  • FSU is 289th in the nation in FTA allowed per game (20.9)

Colorado Buffaloes

As was on display against Georgetown, Colorado shoots a lot from the perimeter.

Colorado shoots just 32.6% of its shots at the rim, good for 269th in the country, per Hoop-Math. Meanwhile, it shoots 20.5 3s per game and makes them at a 37.7% clip (26th in the country).

Colorado really makes its money on 2-point jumpers and from the free-throw line. It ranks 71st in percentage of 2-point jump shots (31.3%) and ranks 46th in field goal percentage on those shots (41.4%). Additionally, it leads the entire country in free-throw percentage (82.3%).

If you haven’t watched much Colorado basketball this season, senior point guard McKinley Wright is awesome to watch. He’s averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 assists per game and is actually top-15 in the country in assist rate.

Wright is a very patient facilitator who doesn’t try and force things, and he’s the perfect guy to lead the Buffaloes’ offense.

Betting Analysis & Pick

I lean Florida State in this game for two different reasons.

First, I’m banking on some shooting regression from the Buffaloes’ offense. Over its past three games, Colorado is shooting a ridiculous 50% from deep, including sinking 16 3s against Georgetown and 12 against USC. I don’t believe it can keep up that level of efficiency.

Second, Colorado is undersized at almost every position. If Colorado is going to score from the perimeter, it’s going to have to do it over size and length. Plus, the Seminoles are above-average at defending perimeter offense, where teams are shooting just 34.7% on 2-point jumpers and 33% on 3-point jumpers.

When Florida State has the ball, I’m hoping it just goes to the hoop. The Seminoles should leverage its size on both the interior and the perimeter.

However, I’m mostly expecting Colorado’s offense to struggle mightily against Florida State’s length. I’m looking to play Florida State at -2 or better.

Pick: Florida State -1.5 (up to -2).

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