Can FSU Overcome Missouri in March Madness Odds on Friday?

Can FSU Overcome Missouri in March Madness on Friday?

Written by on March 16, 2018

In this writer’s opinion, perhaps the most intriguing first-round NCAA Tournament matchup on Friday is No. 9 Florida State of the ACC taking on No. 8 Missouri from the SEC in the West Region. It’s middle-of-the-road but talented schools and could be a pick’em on the March Madness odds by tipoff.

How to Bet Missouri vs. FSU March Madness Odds & Game Info

When: Friday, 9:50 PM ET Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville TV: TBS Radio: 96.7 FM (Missouri) / 103.1 FM (FSU) Opening March Madness Odds: FSU -1.5 (147)

Latest March Madness Odds Trends

  • Seminoles are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Southeastern.
  • Seminoles are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
  • FSU is 5-16 ATS in road games after a conference game over the last 2 seasons
  • Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
  • Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Missouri is 15-5 ATS in a neutral court game where the total is 145 to 149.5 since 1997.

Why Bet on Missouri?

The Tigers (20-12) were fortunate to get a bid, finishing sixth in the SEC and losing their tournament opener. The Tigers are the third-most improved team in the country per winning percentage, going from 8-24 (25.0 percent) last year to 20-12 (64.5 percent) this season. No one who will play for Missouri on Friday has participated in a NCAA Tournament game before. The good news from that SEC tournament loss was the return of highly touted freshman Michael Porter Jr. He had played just two minutes in the regular season and then had back surgery. Porter was a bit rusty in the loss to Georgia, finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds, but shot just 5 for 17 from the field. The Tigers’ offense looked stagnant, as teammates stood and watched while Porter Jr. dominated the ball. The 6-foot-10 freshman, who underwent back surgery in November, still doesn’t have his usual explosion, so he can’t force isolation drives to the basket. Without him, Missouri won seven of 10 to close the regular season, building momentum for the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013. Porter’s younger brother Jontay was SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year. The 6-foot-11 forward has averaged 21 points over Mizzou’s past three contests. He shot 10-of-14 from three in those games, and Mizzou will need him to stretch the floor again on Friday.

What Should You Bet On?

Might want to bet the under on this game. After major defensive lapses in losses to Ole Miss and Kentucky, the Tigers ratcheted up the defense over their final three games, going under the total in all three. They have gone under the total in seven of their past 10 games overall. They held opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 46.7 overall this season, which was top 20 nationally. Their man-to-man defense thrives by taking away the offense’s first option. Mizzou will be short-handed for this one as senior forward Jordan Barnett has been suspended a game for a DWI arrest last weekend. Barnett, 22, averages 13.7 points per game and is among the SEC leaders in 3-point shooting at 41.4 percent. The 6-7 guard spent his first season at Texas and transferred to Mizzou midway through the 2015-16 season. Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin said Barnett will be available for Sunday’s game if MU advances to the second round.

Why Bet on FSU?

Florida State earned a second straight invite to the Big Dance, despite losing their three top scorers from last season. This is the program’s sixth appearance in the past 10 years. Florida State is 6-4 against teams in the NCAA field with wins over Florida, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Miami and Clemson. But it dropped three of its final four games before the bracket was seeded, most recently to Louisville in the ACC Tournament. Seven players on the squad have postseason experience. The Seminoles are sputtering from a bettor’s perspective; they’ve covered just twice in their previous 10 games – and one of those covers came by a half-point. Florida State’s two 7-footers, Christ Koumdaje and Ike Obiagu, combine to average 28.6 minutes per game and have helped Florida State hold opponents to 45.5 percent shooting from inside the three-point arc this season. That ranks 25th in the country, according to KenPom.  The Seminoles are the seventh-tallest team in the NCAA field by KenPom.com’s average height metric. FSU’s most frequent lineup averages 6 feet, 8 inches. But the Seminoles also play fast, ranked No. 31 nationally in adjusted tempo.

How Well Has FSU Done This Season?

Is FSU a safe bet vs. Missouri on Friday? The Seminoles beat teams with their quality depth, which gives Coach Leonard Hamilton the freedom to sub frequently and always keep fresh legs in the game. He uses 10 players. They push the tempo, playing at the 26th-fastest tempo in the nation, according to the KenPom numbers. The Seminoles led the Atlantic Coast Conference in free-throw attempts during conference play (24.1 per game), but they have shot just 68.5 percent from the foul line this season. Florida State was last in the ACC in three-point defensive shooting percentage. Conference opponents made 40.4 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. Friday’s game marks just the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools, and first since 1980. The teams share one common opponent: Florida, which beat Missouri, 77-75, in January. The Noles won at Florida 83-66 on Dec. 4.

Expert March Madness betting Prediction

No. 1 Xavier awaits the winner and that will be Florida State as the Tigers will miss Barnett.