Virginia (15-3) at Florida State (11-3)
When: Monday, February 15th, 2021
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center,
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Florida State -1/130
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The Florida State Seminoles will look to get even with the Virginia Cavaliers in the loss column when the two teams clash on one-day rest this Monday night in Tallahassee, Fla. Because of the uneven season, some teams have played more games than others and it’s no different here. Virginia sits atop the ACC at 11-1, while the Seminoles are in second place at 7-2. Florida State would have to win this game and have the Cavaliers slip up in the closing weeks in order to pass them. The ‘Noles bring the No. 1 scoring offense in the conference (80.4) into this matchup along with the best field-goal percentage (50.2) and 3-point shooting (41.8). Virginia meanwhile ranks No. 1 in conference play in scoring defense, allowing just 57.5 points per game and opponents are shooting just 30.0 percent from three-point territory against the Cavaliers. The Seminoles have won 23 straight home conference games including a 92-85 overtime win over Wake Forest on Saturday. That tied an all-time record with their 11th straight overtime win and their home winning streak trails only Duke’s 26-game run from 1997-2000. The Cavaliers have won four straight and 11 of their past 12 after a 60-48 win over North Carolina on Saturday. The Cavaliers held every Tar Heels’ player under 10 points and used an early 21-2 run to take control. The two teams have split the 52 meetings and the Cavaliers won the most recent meeting 61-56 in Charlottesville on Jan. 28, 2020.
Virginia has bounced back nicely since a shocking 65-51 loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 30 and the defense has been the key. Virginia has held its last two opponents to under 50 points and less than 36 percent shooting. On the season, Virginia is fourth in the nation with just 58.8 points allowed per game and 15th with an adjusted defensive efficiency rating of 90.5 points. Forward Jay Huff led the way against the Tar Heels with 18 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Sam Hauser added 17 points along with 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, while Trey Murphy, III was the only other double-digit scorer with 12 points. The Cavaliers will play at Duke on Saturday.
The win over Wake Forest on Saturday followed a 76-65 road loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 30. The long lull for Florida State was related to COVID-19, but with that issue seems to be behind them. RaiQuan Gray led the way Saturday with career highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Scottie Barnes sent the game to OT with a reverse layup with 0.5 seconds remaining and finished with 13 points. The Seminole are 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency (115.2) and 36th in adjusted defensive efficiency (93.3) and average 4.9 blocks per game. Florida State is 4-3 straight up against Virginia in these two teams’ last seven meetings, but 3-4 ATS. The Seminoles will host Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Florida State’s home winning streak should not go unnoticed. Not only are they winning at home, but they’re covering the spread as well. 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and a 4-0 ATS run vs. teams with a winning record. This one will probably go down to the wire, but Florida State’s ability to win close games will help.
Pick: Florida State -1