Florida State Seminoles vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Date and Time: Saturday, February 18, 2017, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Peterson Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA
College Basketball Odds at BookMaker.eu:
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh TV Coverage: ESPN2
The last time we got to take a look at the Noles, they saw their three game straight up and against the spread win streak go up in flames against the Fighting Irish in South Bend. Florida State found itself behind the proverbial eight-ball right from the get go with Notre Dame staking itself to a 40-31 lead at the break and going on to win the game 84-72 as 1 point underdogs.
After winning its three previous tilts by an average of 30 points per game, the way in which Bonzie Colson and company handled the Seminoles came as quite the surprise. The Irish’s big man went on to score a career-high 33 points and added 13 rebounds to lead ND to the 36-33 win in the battle of the boards. If FSU is to bounce back in this spot, it must reassert itself on the glass against a PITT team that’s much better at grabbing loose caroms than that of the Irish.
Pittsburgh has been on the short end of countless tough defeats this season. None more disturbing than the 66-63 home loss to Virginia Tech whom it was favored to beat by five points. The defeat put an end to their mini two-game win streak accrued against Boston College and Syracuse with the win against a streaking Orange outfit moving them to 10-4 as a host.
Though the Panthers held a decisive 42-27 advantage on the glass, it’s inability to get to the free throw line and hold onto the basketball ended up costing it dearly. With the Hokies ranked No. 239 at forcing turnovers and the Panthers decent at protecting possession of the basketball, the 13 miscues certainly came as a surprise. Most bothersome was Pittsburgh pissing away an 11 point halftime lead and allowing the Hokies to go on a 7-0 run late to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Matchup to Watch
The Panthers cost themselves dearly by not getting to the charity stripe enough against the Hokies. Allowing Seth Allen and his mates to attempt 10 more free throws than them on their home floor is unacceptable, especially with PITT averaging better than 22 free throw attempts per game. The Hokies have however limited their opponents chances at the charity stripe all season long (No. 23). That isn’t the case with the Noles who concede an average of 22.2 free throws to their opposition per game. That number increases to 24.2 when on the road. If Pittsburgh is to defend its court, it must get the Noles in foul trouble and take advantage at the line.
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh Free Picks
This is a tough one to get a handle on because you just don’t know what Pittsburgh’s frame of mind will be after letting another game get away from it late. This is however a team led by upper classmen with seniors Michael Young and Jamel Artis leading the way. With that, the value will likely be on the home team in this battle against the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Florida State has won only two of its six played true road games, and lost outright in the three games it went off the board favored to win. While I don’t expect the Noles to drop this one with it battling UNC, Duke and Louisville for conference bragging rights, I also don’t foresee it covering the chalk either against what I think will be a determined Panthers side. Look for some points to hit the board as well.
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh ATS Pick: Bet Pittsburgh at BookMaker.eu
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh Score Prediction: Florida State 90 - Pittsburgh 87