Florida State vs. Vermont Betting Guide: Will Seminoles’ Length Pose Big Problem in NCAA Tournament?

Florida State vs. Vermont Betting Guide: Will Seminoles’ Length Pose Big Problem in NCAA Tournament? article feature image
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Florida State Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton and Vermont Catamounts head coach John Becker.

#4 Florida State vs. #13 Vermont NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Florida State -9
  • Over/Under: 133.5
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Location: Hartford, Conn.

>> All odds as of Wednesday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


Florida State (16-18 against the spread) has won six of its past seven games outright despite covering just four of them. On the flip side, the Catamounts (20-10-2 ATS) racked up 18 straight-up wins in their past 20 contests.

Can you count on Vermont to keep it close? Let’s dive in.

Florida State: Scary Long and Athletic

Vermont showcases a small-ball lineup under John Becker, with the 6-foot-6 star Anthony Lamb starting at “center.” Although the Seminoles have a clear-cut size mismatch, Becker’s troops have let up the 38th-lowest 2-point clip (46.5%) in the nation.

Their ability to switch everything defensively will give the Seminoles fits, and FSU’S below-average turnover rate (19.2%) will come into play because of it.

Florida State has tallied the 31st-highest Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (113.0 points per 100 possessions) in the country, and its biggest strength comes in its transition and half-court sets, generating the 80th-highest free-throw rate (36.0%).

That stems from its ability to control the glass at both ends, guided by the 6-foot-10 Mfionde Kabengele.

But FSU won’t have an easy time living at the line in this matchup, which it so often does.

The Catamounts have limited their opponents to the 22nd-lowest free-throw rate (26.2%), though, a product of slowing down opponents’ high-paced attacks with the second-highest defensive rebounding rate (21.8%) in the nation.

Lamb Getting to the Hoop Key for Vermont

Similar to FSU, the Catamounts’ biggest weapon is attacking the lane and getting to the line, amassing the 84th-highest free-throw rate (36.3%) overall. They generated the highest rate (38.0%) and scoring percentage (21.2%) from that department in America East play, too.

Florida State has not only yielded an above-average free-throw rate (36.1%) in Division I, but it gave up the second-highest rate (35.7%) in ACC play as well. Guided by Lamb (21.4 points per game) and 6-foot-3 guard Ernie Duncan (13.8 ppg), look for Vermont to have its way off the dribble en route to the charity stripe.

Becker’s crew has also generated the 31st-highest free-throw percentage (75.3%) in the country. It’ll be able to capitalize in that area, which will come in handy if the score creeps closer to the line.

Moreover, the Seminoles’ perimeter defense regressed plenty during ACC play, allowing the fourth-highest 3-point clip (34.7%). Expect the Catamounts’ floor-spacing lineup to take advantage, as they’re shooting 35.3% clip from that vicinity.

Covering Bigger Spreads

Although the Seminoles are expected to notch a straight-up victory, they’re just 4-7 (36.4%) ATS this season when laying at least nine points. The Noles occasionally slipped up against subpar competition with straight-up losses to Boston College and Pitt.

Vermont was never an underdog in any of its American East games, but its matchup advantages will allow it keep this one competitive throughout. This is a well-coached team.

Eli’s Pick: Vermont +9, but I wouldn’t bet it past Vermont +8.

Action Network Projected Spread

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Florida State -11
  • Total: 134.5
  • Proj Score: Florida State 73 | Vermont 62
  • Win Probability: Florida State 86.3% | Vermont 13.7%

Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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