NC State vs. Florida State Odds & Pick: Play the Total in Defensive Showdown
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: M.J. Walker.
- Florida State returns to action on Wednesday against NC State after three games were postponed due to COVID-19 issues.
- Pat McMahon thinks the Seminoles are the better team in this matchup but is hesitant to lay the points after the long layoff.
- Check out McMahon's full betting analysis and see his pick below.
NC State vs. Florida State Odds
|NC State Odds||+4.5 (-110)|
|Florida State Odds||-4.5 (-110)|
|Time | TV||Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. ET||ACC Network|
Florida State returns to action on Wednesday night for the first time in over two weeks to host the NC State Wolfpack. The Seminoles had their last three games postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the program.
The last time it was on the court, Florida State fell to Clemson by 10 points on Dec. 29. The Seminoles have since dropped out of the AP Top 25 and lost more than a week of practice smack dab in the middle of ACC play.
Some rust is expected, but Leonard Hamilton indicated on Monday that his team is at full strength and was able to get in several days of practice prior to the showdown against the Wolfpack.
After a strong start to conference play, NC State suffered a pair of close losses last week to fall to 2-2 in the ACC. The offense really struggled in a 64-59 loss to Miami on Saturday, and a quick fix will be difficult to come by against a stout Seminoles defense.
When NC State has the ball
While the Wolfpack offense hasn’t looked sharp as of late, it’s been strong on the season, posting more than 77 points per game and ranking 57th nationally in offensive efficiency.
It started conference play on a high note, scoring 79 points in victories over Boston College and North Carolina. Things took a turn for the worse in the Clemson and Miami losses, when it averaged just 60.5 points in regulation.
The Wolfpack simply didn’t shoot it well in either game and were under 40% from the floor against the Hurricanes.
Devon Daniels is far and away the most important piece of NC State’s offense. The senior wing is its leading scorer and has taken 21.5% of the team’s total shot attempts. With that kind of usage, it’s no surprise that the team usually goes as he goes. In the Wolfpack’s two losses last week, Daniels shot just 37% from the floor and 27% from 3.
The Wolfpack like to throw it inside to their big men more than most teams, and as a result, they have a strong field goal percentage as a team (47.3%).
Three of their top four scorers are forwards: DJ Funderburk, Jericole Hellems and Manny Bates. Hellems will step out and shoot the 3, but Funderburk and Bates stick to the inside and take most of their shots around the rim.
Kevin Keatts would like to establish the post offense early to take some pressure off Daniels and help open up some outside looks for his shooters. However, scoring down low is a tall task against the Seminoles. Florida State is very long and athletic on the inside and has a trio of big men that are all strong defensively.
Defense is typically the strength of Leonard Hamilton-coached teams, and this year is no different. The Seminoles rank 34th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom. Florida State is holding opponents to under 70 points per game and a very impressive 39.5% field goal shooting.
Its size and athleticism at every position makes it difficult for opponents to create space and get easy looks. Another staple of a Hamilton team is great depth. The Seminoles have that again this season, as nine players average double-digit minutes. This type of depth is a big plus on defense in order to keep guys fresh and wear down the opposition.
When Florida State has the ball
While not known as much for their offense, the Seminoles have been very good on this end of the floor, ranking 41st in offensive efficiency. It would have been understandable to see a dip in production after losing a pair of lottery picks, but Hamilton has done a great job of reloading.
The offense is driven by a stellar backcourt featuring Scottie Barnes and M.J. Walker. Barnes, who stands 6-foot-9, has a great feel for the game and is relied upon to create offense for himself and his teammates. He leads the Seminoles in assists (4.3 per game) and is their second-leading scorer (11.1 points per game).
Walker and Anthony Polite have been fantastic in bigger roles this season. Walker averages a team-high 15.3 points per game and connects on 38% of his attempts from 3-point range.
Polite has been lights-out from behind the arc, hitting 51% of his 3-point attempts thus far. These two are really counted to make outside shots, as the Seminoles are an average 3-point shooting team as a whole (34%).
Keatts has his club playing quality defense this season. The Wolfpack rank 50th in defensive efficiency and are allowing under 66 points per game. They’re doing a great job of defending the perimeter, limiting opponents to just 31.8% 3-point shooting.
They’re also very tough on the inside as well. Funderburk and Bates don’t allow anything easy in the lane. Bates is one of the best shot blockers in the country and leads the ACC with 3.0 per game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I think the Seminoles are the superior team, but I’m hesitant to lay points with them after their long layoff. Rust and conditioning could be an issue, so I believe the under is the better look in this spot.
The strength of each team’s defense also bodes well for the under. The Seminoles’ size and depth down low will make it difficult for the Wolfpack to run their offense from the post. They’re also really long and athletic on the wing and have several defenders they can throw at Daniels to slow him down.
On the flip side, NC State defends the 3 very well and only have to key in on two guys in that area in Walker and Polite. And of course, having one of the best rim protectors in the nation helps a ton when the opposition tries to attack the basket.
In a game that is expected to be close and features a pair of top-50 defenses, I’ll gladly back the under.
Pick: Under 143.5 | Play down to 141